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gazine ISSUE 10

SPRING/SUMMER 2019

COVER STORY

ALL IN THE NUMBERS p. 30

All Hands on Deck

Gallery

From East to West

p. 20

p. 78

p. 114

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EDITORIAL Since its start-up days, SiGMA has been making noise

opinions on issues such as regulation, the thriving Asian

for all the right reasons. Now, as we celebrate our sixth

markets, and emerging innovation within the industry.

anniversary in the events sector, our voice as a leader

Indeed, regulation has received global coverage this

in this industry has never been clearer. A concerted

edition; MGA CEO, Heathcliff Farrugia, paints a clear

effort in 2018 to make our presence known on the global

picture of the regulatory landscape for Malta, while a

iGaming stage has finally come to fruition; this year

special report looks at the US market in depth.

marks the beginning of a new chapter overseas and

It only remains now for me to give thanks. I owe much to

the culmination of a grand plan that has been carefully

our Founder and CEO, Eman Pulis, and I’m sure I echo

crafted since our inception.

the rest of the team here at the Maltese office when I

An ever-growing interest in the Asian continent as a

say we will miss his presence in the office greatly. At the

robust, up-and-coming location for gaming makes it a

end of May Eman will be leaving for a permanent base

great choice for SiGMA as we stretch to fill newly-carved

in Dubai, where he will take on a new role as Group

niches in Manila, Dubai and Hong Kong.

CEO of SiGMA. I would also be remiss not to thank Jessica Camilleri, for bringing this magazine home with

This magazine will also see a number of firsts, with the

her beautifully-crafted design, which is complemented

October edition of SiGMAgazine set to appear in both

by some stunning photography from Aleksey Leonov.

English and Mandarin, a reflection of our mission to bring

This magazine also features the masterly writing skills

Europe and Asia closer together.

of Christopher Attard and Julian Moore – their help in

This issue attempts to give a wide view of the gaming landscape as it stands today, offering a plethora of

putting together this publication has been invaluable. Enjoy the issue!

Katy

Katy Jools Aleksey Jess

Chris

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CONTENTS 20

30

38

72

68

114

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without prior consent in writing. Opinions expressed in SiGMAgazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations.

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20 ALL HANDS ON DECK Healthcliff Farrugia shares his vision of shared interoperability between international regulators.

30 ALL IN THE NUMBERS StanleyBet CEO, Giovanni Garrisi leads us into the future of iGaming and A.I.

38 INSPIRING INNOVATION Innovation is shaping our industry. Hyperion’s co founder and CEO, Stav Zilbershtein speaks exclusively to SiGMAgazine.

58 AN OVERVIEW OF THE SPORTS BETTING MARKET IN THE UNITED STATES

Jinia Shawdagor gives a detailed account of the US sports betting market and its regulatory challenges.

68 EVERYTHING TO PLAY FOR Ivan Farrugia describes Playson’s goal in going above and beyond expectations to find out what makes today’s players tick.

72 WHEN DAVID MET GOLIATH Rhi Burns talks to SiGMA about her plans to merge sustainable long-term growth with fair-minded business practices.

111 HEADING EAST Katy Micallef considers the rapid expansion of the Asian gaming markets as Europe starts to show signs of saturation.

114 FROM EAST TO WEST Juliet and Nadia Adelstein take centre stage as they outline their shared vision of building bridges.

128 MAKING SENSE: THE BITCOIN SV SAGA Christopher Attard gives his two cents on the ongoing drama surrounding Bitcoin SV, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre.

Hand delivered to various expos worldwide, executive lounges, Maltese embassies and government institutions. The magazine is also delivered by post to 10,000 leading gaming and related companies worldwide. For information regarding promotion and advertising kindly call (+356) 2700 2836 / 2133 6670 or email bekki@sigma.com.mt www.sigma.com.mt SiGMAgazine is published by Viking PC Health Ltd., Gaming Hub, Judge Paolo Debono Str., Msida Skate Park, Msida. MSD2032, Malta.

Editor: Katy Micallef Layout & Design: Jessica Camilleri Photography: Aleksey Leonov

Content Writers: Christopher Attard, Gerald Fenech, Jools Moore & Jinia Shawdagor Sales: Hamza Afifi, Sandeep Haer, Roberta Farrugia Nicholls & Petra Maria Poola

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SAVE

THE

DATES


A B O U T O U R L A ST S H O W

HON. JOSEPH MUSCAT PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA

“The seed of blockchain has landed on very fertile soil. We are doing everything necessary for the seed to grow.”

HARTEJ SAWHNEY

HON. SILVIO SCHEMBRI

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION “Now we are at the epicentre of the blockchain revolution, making Malta the Blockchain Island.”

SOPHIA

FOUNDER AT HOSHO GROUP

A.I. ROBOT - SINGULARITYNET

“The summit has been remarkable. This has been a true blend with the whole world meeting right in the middle, in Malta.”

“What excites me most is the ability to connect a lot of decentralised projects into a decentralised network – an ecosystem of ecosystems.”

JOHN MCAFEE

FOUNDER OF MCAFEE “I think it was a very successful summit. The quality of the attendees and the people presenting was excellent and well organised.”

EMAN PULIS

GROUP CEO AT MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT, SIGMA & MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD “8,500 quality delegates trusted our inaugural summit last year. Join us this November and find out what Malta is doing to incentivise companies in Big Data, A.I., Blockchain, Quantum and IoT.”

M A LTA B LO C KC H A I N S U M M I T . C O M


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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

SiGMA

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE: SiGMA 2020 IN MANILA The fast-approaching summer season is a reminder of how quickly time flies by when you’re enjoying what you do. Building the SiGMA brand over the last 6 years has been a labour of love, and as it continues to bear the sweet fruits of success, we’re reinvesting our triumphs into new ventures. As part of an ambitious expansion plan to delve into a wider tech ecosystem, SiGMA has set its sights on the east, with new offices opening in Dubai, Manila and Hong Kong. As we move further into the second quarter of 2019 I’ll be exploring the immense promise this market has to offer from a permanent base in Dubai. Manila is a location which offers all the right kind of ingredients for a company easing out of its start-up phase and looking to stretch its legs. While other companies like Clarion are making a success of the west, with events like ICE North America doing well, we felt there was a vacuum in Asia that would fit us nicely. As a result, we’re launching SiGMA Manila in 2020, the perfect opportunity to bring European companies closer to Asia and to capitalise on the growing interest in the market. Ultimately we hope to shine a spotlight on the huge potential the east has for the iGaming industry, bringing value to both east and west. It is off the back of hard-won experience that SiGMA has continued to flourish, exploring untapped avenues of business as the company widened its scope and vision. Lifted by early achievements, SiGMA has expanded its operations to become a world-class event. A marked interest shown by global policy makers, thought leaders and industry-renowned businesses has made this show more than a sum of its parts - it is this kind of international support that has helped propel SiGMA into truly becoming the World’s iGaming Village.

Through a commitment to quality and years of successful operations, SiGMA has nurtured the development of a strong brand, allowing for its evolution into a global influencer on the iGaming world stage. It is with this worldwide vision that company plans for 2020 will focus on building a presence in Asia and laying down roots as we settle in to our new global role. SiGMA will also focus on strengthening core events on its home turf and on the smooth running of the inaugural opening of the Emirates A.I. & Blockchain Summit. In 2019, a fast-growing technology scene will see the Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit up its game, hosting two major shows in the same year and adding new verticals into its remit. The show aims to attract a truly global crowd of exhibitors by boosting its offering to include A.I., Quantum Tech, IoT and Big Data. Expected to attract over a thousand investors to Maltese shores, the summit will serve as a model of excellence for next year’s Emirates A.I. and Blockchain Summit. Hoping to emulate the success of sister acts, SiGMA, and the Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit, the newly launched Medical Cannabiz World will be held back-to-back with our November blockchain event, offering a window into the value-laden investment opportunities that medicinal cannabis can provide. Last but not least – our many thanks. Our achievements are in no small part due to the encouragement and support we’ve received over the years, it is your faith in us that has inspired us to think outside the box. The revolutionary potential of these newly emerging industries lies tantalisingly close and we are committed to shining a spotlight on their success. We’re moving onwards and upwards – so watch this space!

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THE HEADLINES GAMING INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS

MGA AND SWEDISH GAMBLING AUTHORITY ENTER NEW ERA OF COOPERATION Following Sweden’s doubling down on regulation at the start of

on matters of mutual interest and policy areas. Both authorities

the year, companies have required expensive new licences to

have agreed to provide the best possible operational assistance

operate in the Swedish sector, not to mention putting in place

to one another in accordance with their respective procedures

new procedures for problem gamblers to self-exclude.

and regulatory policies.

In early March, Malta and Sweden strengthened their ties in

The Director General of the Swedish Gambling Authority, Camilla

the iGaming sector, as the Malta Gaming Authority and the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding intended to provide enhanced cooperation between the two authorities and further public policy objectives and common values.

Rosenberg commented: “Many of the companies that have received a Swedish licence also have technical equipment and a licence in Malta. By opening the communication channels between the authorities we become stronger in our supervisory activities. This is the beginning of a broad and

This new agreement facilitates close communications on a

long-term cooperation, and our plan is to initiate corresponding

continuing basis and will support effective sharing of information

collaborations with more gambling authorities in Europe.”

NETENT GRANTED NEW JERSEY LICENCE As the post-PASPA opportunities continue to be realised in the US, NetEnt was granted a permanent Casino Service Industry Enterprise licence by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in February. NetEnt has been operating in New Jersey since 2015 under a transactional waiver from the NJDGE. Through its subsidiary NetEnt Americas LLC, NetEnt applied for a Casino Service Industry Enterprise licence in the US state of New Jersey in 2015. In September 2015, NetEnt obtained a transactional waiver by the NJDGE, granting the right to supply online casino games in New Jersey while the full licence application was being reviewed. The new licence marks the first permanent licence in the US for

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online gaming licence in the US. We have been present in New

the company as it seeks to expand operations in North America.

Jersey since 2015 and have supported the regulator throughout

Erik Nyman, Managing Director, NetEnt Americas LLC,

US expansion as we hope to enter additional states if and when

commented, “We are very pleased to obtain our first permanent

they regulate online casino.”

the licensing process. The licence marks yet another step in our


News

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

iGAMING REVENUE ON THE RISE IN PORTUGAL Sports betting, with €78.9 million in revenue, is the biggest contributor, with the growth likely attributed the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. Despite the World Cup taking place in the second quarter of the year, the fourth quarter was the most successful for operators, considering operators achieved revenue of €43 million, up €7 million from Q4 2017. The sports betting segment posted its strongest performance in the three-month period ending December 31st, with operators reporting revenue of €21 million and total bets passing the €110 Meanwhile in Europe, February saw the Serviço Regulação e

million mark.

Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), the gaming

Online casinos also reported a peak in the fourth quarter and

regulatory body of Portugal, publish financial results for the

posted a high of €21.5 million, with online slots being once again

last quarter of 2018, with the numbers showing revenue for the

the most popular choice for consumers. For the full year, the

iGaming market has risen by 24% year on year, netting €152.1

segment totalled €73.2 million, up from the €54.4 million registered

million in this period.

a year before and representing a 34 percent increase year-on-year.

KINDRED’S NEW STOCKHOLM OFFICES

Elsewhere in Europe, April saw Kindred move to new premises in

office space increases from the current 3,000 sqm to 7,000

central Stockholm and announce the hiring of 250 new employees.

sqm. Henrik Tjärnström, CEO Kindred Group, commented, “It

The gambling operator has moved in to state-of-the-art premises

is very exciting to finally move into new premises in the middle of Stockholm where we can continue to grow at a fast pace.

at AMF Real Estate in Urban Escape in central Stockholm,

Since the birth of Kindred more than 20 years ago, it has been

consolidating its role as one of the leading tech companies in

important for us to create a work environment that reflects our

Sweden. The ambition is to double the number of employees in

culture and our values. We are in an expansive phase right now

the coming years.

and the new premises will allow us to grow rapidly.”

Kindred has grown rapidly in recent years and currently employs

Kindred occupied the two floors on Regeringsgatan 29 on April

around 1,500 people worldwide, of which approximately 350

8th, joining other tenants in the new tech cluster including EQT,

people work in Stockholm. The move means that Kindred’s

Netlight, and Microsoft.

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News

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

GENESIS GLOBAL INTEGRATES WITH SWEDISH SELF-EXCLUSION REGISTER Also extending its activity in Sweden, Genesis Global confirmed

top priority, to find an alternative and immediate solution for direct

in January the company’s integration with Swedish self-exclusion

integration to Spelpaus.

register, Spelpaus.

Genesis Global quickly implemented this solution to be

Following the introduction of the new Swedish iGaming legislation

operational across all its brands, and then contacted and refunded

on 1 January 2019, Genesis Global received a number of incoming

all the concerned players before closing all related accounts, as

contacts from Swedish players claiming that they were allowed

required by the regulatory body.

to register and play on Genesis websites despite the fact that they had self-excluded themselves on Spelpaus. Receiving those

At the time, the company commented, “Genesis always places

complaints, Genesis immediately initiated an investigation in order

compliance and responsible gambling at the core of its business

to identify the source of the fault and found out that there was a

operations in order to ensure a safe gaming environment to its

failure in a 3rd party’s system integrating to Spelpaus. Once that

players. Therefore, any regulation requirements and guidelines

was identified, all technological teams were allocated, being a

are being treated as highest priority.”

GIG STRENGTHEN COMPLIANCE FOR KINDRED Also in the area of compliance, Gaming Innovation Group signed an agreement in April to supply its marketing compliance technology to Kindred Group. GiG will be providing its innovative B2B marketing compliance technology to Kindred Group, deploying the GiG Comply selfservice monitoring solution for Kindred to track affiliate activity and content for its brands. The GiG Comply software can scan up to 30,000 web pages daily, creating a daily list of locations where any of Kindred’s brands are mentioned. Kindred will therefore protect its brands in an everchanging online environment, helping them to remain compliant. Ryan Henderson, Head of Affiliates at Kindred Group said, “I am looking forward to working with the GiG Comply product to strengthen our existing compliance processes and ensure our affiliate activity is compliant and sustainable.” Richard Brown, Chief Operations Officer at GiG, said, “We are delighted to have partnered with Kindred Group to support them to protect their brands and end users. Our leading marketing and compliance technology will allow the Kindred Affiliates team to monitor and control affiliate mentions, alongside their existing processes.”

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News

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

TRON Q1 GAMBLING PAYMENTS EXCEED $1 BILLION In other news, cryptocurrencies continued to gain ground in the online gambling sector. More than $1 billion worth of the TRON (TRX) cryptocurrency was gambled during the first three months of 2019, according to research conducted by CryptoGamblingNews.com. The surge in betting volumes in the cryptocurrency has come on the back of the launch of several decentralised casinos that use the TRON blockchain. These casinos utilise smart contracts, automating the entire user journey from wallet to gameplay, in a way that guarantees the integrity of the games and the user’s funds. Many of the most popular TRON casinos also automatically redistribute a share of casino revenues to users, based upon how much they have played.

TRON-based casinos processed wagers of more than $80m in just the first week of April, with the most successful, TRONbet.io, reporting volumes of 1.5 billion TRX ($43.5m) over the period, according to data from DappRadar. TRON was founded in 2017 but moved to its own blockchain in June 2018, and enjoys a particularly strong following in China. The cryptocurrency has a total market capitalisation of around $1.9 billion. A spokesperson for CryptoGamblingNews.com said: “The appetite for TRON-based gaming has grown exponentially in a very short space of time. It is remarkable to see decentralised casinos generating turnovers that can compete with far more established, fiat currency competitors.”

TORO BET SELECTS HARD METRICS FOR MEXICO LAUNCH Hard Metrics, the online sportsbook and casino platform and

Toro Bet is the first operator within America to take advantage

services joint venture between Metric Gaming and the Bethard

of the Hard Metrics turnkey solution, which provides an enviable

Group, has signed its first operator partner, Toro Bet.

level of product autonomy from a B2B supplier.

The deal allows Toro Bet to enter the Mexican sports betting

Uniquely, the Hard Metrics platform allows operators to

market powered by the state-of-the-art Hard Metrics platform.

configure distinct offerings to meet the competitive and

The technology includes Metric Gaming’s trading, operations,

regulatory needs of divergent markets. In the case of Toro Bet, it

risk management and suite of innovative and proprietary betting

will allow them to establish their brand in Mexico and then move

products, as well as Bethard’s business intelligence, player

into other Latin American territories with offerings unique to that

account management system and casino platform.

particular market.

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A FARREACHING GAMING LANDSCAPE SILVIO SCHEMBRI IS THE JUNIOR MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY, AND INNOVATION WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER. HIS MINISTRY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A NUMBER OF BODIES, INCLUDING THE MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY, THE MALTA DIGITAL INNOVATIONS AUTHORITY AND THE MALTA FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY. HE WRITES ABOUT A HOLISTIC STRATEGY FOR MALTA’S GAMING INDUSTRY.

The road has not been without its challenges, but today, the fact that Malta has become the main point of reference for the gaming industry in general, is an undisputed and widely acknowledged reality. Considered as one of the main jurisdictions for the industry, our country has garnered an outstanding reputation as an important regulator, with a finger firmly on the pulse of this ever-growing sector. Last year, a new Gaming law was introduced, which effectively makes the sector easier to operate within, by considerably reducing unnecessary bureaucratic procedures for operators, limiting licenses to two, B2B – Business to Business and B2C – Business to Consumer, while strengthening the role of the MGA with regard to its fight against money laundering, illicit abuse and funding of terrorism.

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It further enhanced the MGA’s compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve its regulatory objectives, making the system more transparent, in line with concurrent developments, fulfilling its obligations to eliminate the more undesirable elements within the sector. This law also empowers the MGA to be more agile in its decision-making, decreasing unnecessary regulatory burdens whilst concurrently strengthening supervision and focusing the regulator’s efforts on the areas which present a higher risk profile. Other important areas of focus include compliance, consumer protection standards, responsible gaming measures, reporting of suspicious sports betting transactions in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions, and objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development.


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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&


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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The Government strives to ensure that the gaming industry continues to be run responsibly, fairly and free from criminal activity, so that we provide a safe and enjoyable leisure activity to the public in general. We must also bear in mind that the sector is also an important source of revenue and the livelihood for hundreds of families and therefore we need to ensure that these are continually safeguarded. To continue with this holistic approach, the MGA has been closely liaising with international authorities, the groundwork and discussions of which have brought important results, which ultimately have further elevated Malta’s credibility and significance as a jurisdiction. Simultaneously, the MGA has further bolstered its innovational credentials, aptly issuing a set of rigorous guidelines on the use of cryptocurrencies in a sandbox environment within the gaming industry.

“Currently, we are looking at formulating a holistic strategy, wherein Malta could serve as a hub for this industry” Despite its diminutive size, our small but adept island, with its enthusiasm for innovation, is consistently increasing its appeal as a comprehensive hub for those who want to set up shop, consequently attracting some of the biggest and the most influential names in the industry. With so many employment opportunities presented by these operators, it would be sheer negligence if we do not strive to create a capable and knowledgeable workforce to mitigate the demand. To this end, we aim to encourage future generations to pursue a career in such an exciting industry, by assisting them in enhancing their skills through the European Gaming Institute of Malta, which was established for this purpose, through a conjoint effort between MCAST and the MGA. But now is also the time to cast our aspirations further afield. We need to rigorously explore the economic niche presented by eSports, video gaming and game development and how these could be incorporated in our already strong ecosystem. Currently, we are looking at formulating a holistic strategy, wherein Malta could serve as a hub for this industry, especially since a number of eSports and video gaming companies have already set up shop here. This strategy will also investigate and identify the ideal incentives and the skills required, as well as the establishing of a new niche within the tourism sector. Operators in this space are already looking into using the services provided by Malta in order to tap into European markets.

Our solid commitment and continuous nurturing of this fledgling industry is what makes Malta the natural choice for investors. We want to provide a complete ecosystem for both gaming and the eSports industry to flourish and be main contributors to Malta’s economic growth. As a Government we shall always remain open to new ideas and demands. Our drive to continually elevate the prestige associated with the Maltese licence as well as maintaining our country’s reputation as the Home for Gaming Excellence will remain our top priority.

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ALL HANDS ON DECK IT’S EARLY DAYS YET, BUT MGA CEO HEATHCLIFF FARRUGIA HAS THE TILLER FIRMLY IN HAND. A YEAR ON FROM HIS RECENT APPOINTMENT TO THE ROLE, FARRUGIA IS STEERING THE MGA SHIP ON A GLOBAL COURSE OF INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION, WITH CONSTANT EFFORTS AIMED AT BRIDGING THE COOPERATION GAPS BETWEEN DIFFERENT REGULATORY BODIES. KATY MICALLEF MEETS UP WITH HIM TO FIND OUT MORE.

There’s still a lot of settling in to do. The launch

“From our end when you look at gaming and

of three key pieces of legislation regulating

blockchain, what we’ve seen in terms of this new

blockchain and DLT back in November 2018 has

technology, is predominantly operators looking

added another dimension to proceedings, with

at ways to automate payment solutions through a

the MGA issuing guidelines to allow gaming

smart contract, whilst others are considering a DLT

operators to make use of these technologies - and

solution to assist them with their KYC obligations.

as Heathcliff says, ‘there’s interest but it’s a long

Then there are also, albeit less common, very radical

process subject to tweaks’.

solutions with a whole platform being built on DLT

“Obviously it’s the MFSA and MDIA who are the

and VFAs or virtual tokens from the ground up.”

main protagonists in this, but things are proceeding

Through current systems, if you are a player and

very well. We are in close communication with

you are wagering money, you are required to place

them, in order to ensure that the various regulatory

all your trust in a licensed operator. Whilst this is

frameworks holistically produce the desired safe

obviously an acceptable solution, and it is how the

environment. MDIA-approved auditors will be

gaming industry operates, some operators believe

required to test technical infrastructure making use

they can take this to the next level by means of

of DLT, whilst the regulatory framework within the

smart contracts.

MFSA’s remit provides assurances in relation to

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the providers of licensable services in relation to

“The smart contract would be intelligent enough

Virtual Financial Assets. When a gaming operator

to automate the pay-out process; i.e. checking the

wishes to accept VFAs as a means of payment, or

player balance and blocking the wager amount, ,

else make use of DLT, naturally these frameworks,

assessing whether there was actually a win, and

aside from the MGA’s regulatory requirements,

if so paying back the player in the same wallet

would be of relevance.”

automatically, after validating the same win.”


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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“We believe the way forward especially in this industry is for regulators to collaborate, as we all share the same objectives. We all want to protect players, to ensure gaming is fair, and to keep this industry free from crime�

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

“Having said this, ensuring the smart contract is actually

the unified self-exclusion present in Malta only applies

delivering what it promises, becomes key. That is why

to land-based gaming establishments. This means that

we need to make sure the solution provided would be

whereas when players self-exclude themselves from

thoroughly assessed by the expert auditors approved by

one land-based gaming premises they are automatically

the MDIA.”

excluded from all remaining gaming premises, this does

Nearly a year on from the launch of the new gaming law and Malta’s regulatory landscape is looking pretty trim, have there been any bumps in the road? “When the new law came into force, it was a great feeling, a great accomplishment! A project we had worked so hard on for quite a long time. It was challenging initially because of the complete overhaul introduced on a number of regulatory fronts. Operationally it was also tough, especially because we needed to migrate all our licensed operators - circa 300 operators collectively holding some 650 licences – from the multi-tier licensing by class framework we had, to the newer structure which only includes a B2B or a B2C licence. This brought down the number of licences collectively held by the same number of operators to 300.”

not in any way link to the online sphere. Hence the same players can simply go home and play online through a Malta-licensed website. Although online operators are already obliged to offer self-exclusion solutions themselves, this is not linked to the land-based system, and it is not unified between online operators.” “It’s a very ambitious project because we’re looking at having 300 operators collectively accessing a single database, so it’s definitely not easy.” He continued by stating that this was not a matter of getting there first, but more to have the best possible solution in place, to ensure optimal player protection. MGA publicly stated they would be ready to consider joining forces with other fellow regulators on this front. “We believe the way forward especially in this industry

The new law also introduced a number of additional

is for regulators to collaborate, as we all share the same

powers aimed at widening the regulatory reach of the MGA,

objectives. We all want to protect players, to ensure

ensuring they are empowered to keep monitoring and

gaming is fair, and to keep this industry free from crime.”

supervising the gaming industry in the best way possible.

Efforts in 2019 will continue focusing on international

With that also comes the responsibility of making sure

collaboration, with plans of signing more MOUs with

operators are in line with the new regulations introduced,

international regulators - a recently signed understanding

and the MGA is adamant to make sure this happens,

with the Swedish regulator, Spelinspektionen, marks an

although it concedes that the work in relation to the new

important milestone for the Malta-Sweden relationship.

law is not over yet. Also in the pipeline is a project for an Enhanced “I would say this year will be quite particular in terms of the

Automated Reporting Platform. (EARP)

new law, and it will be what we’re calling the implementation year. To introduce such a huge changeover takes months,

“We are connecting all the land-based slot machines

so we’re envisaging that we’ll still be in this implementation

to a central system. Apart from moving away from the

phase till the end of this year.”

current reporting structure to one where we get the data

“It’s a lot of work for our employees; case in point, the move from having a single point of contact, namely the key official (responsible for the particular licence), to having a number of key functions (up to 12) which require the MGA’s approval.” Following initial talks with operators, the MGA have also published a preliminary Market Consultation Document to request information on projects for a Unified SelfExclusion System, with the plan of rolling out across all licensed gambling operators, irrespective of channel. Following the 2017 publication of the White Paper to Future Proof Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework, the MGA is now looking to further strengthen the protection afforded to players, especially as a means of prevention of gambling-related harm.

we need directly through the gaming devices and the central management system, the new tool will also give the possibility to the MGA to intervene in a more efficient manner whenever there is the need. Every gaming device will have an IoT device installed, through which regular data packets will be sent to us. The plan is to eventually also automate certain reporting requirements for the online operators, however in 2019 we will focus primarily on land-based activities.” While the island is currently basking in its title as Blockchain Island, the country has long held the iGaming crown. With almost 2 decades’ experience under its belt, Heathcliff believes the MGA is considered as one of the most reputable regulators around, saying, “We have the knowledge and we have the experience, because we’ve been in the industry for a number of years. We are a

Heathcliff explains that, “Offering adequate protection

trusted regulator, and believe in sharing our knowledge

to players is essential for the MGA, because currently,

with other fellow regulators across the globe.”

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

MAKING A PLAY FOR EXCELLENCE DURING SiGMA 2018, COO AT GAMINGMALTA, IVAN FILLETTI, WAS AWARDED THE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO GAMING AWARD. HE WRITES ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE CONVERGING FOR GAMING IN MALTA, ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE VIDEO GAMING AND ESPORTS SECTOR.

Our core objective remains the same, that of

While Malta’s reputation as a quality jurisdiction

positioning Malta as the Home of Gaming Excellence.

in terms of iGaming is well recorded, we are now

And together with my team, we continue to do this

actively working on building this reputation to become

with missionary zeal!

a digital creative hub. Video gaming and eSports are a

We achieve this by engaging with all the key

vital part of this component.

stakeholders and ensuring that they connect with the

Now we aim to unleash our potential as a global

different parts of the gaming ecosystem both locally and

creative hub for digital gaming production. The island is

internationally to promote, strengthen and accelerate

inviting content producers and digital publishers to join

the growth across all gaming sectors.

its other thriving tech and entertainment industries.

For example, we are collaborating closely with the

The video gaming industry is the newest member

newly setup iGen – the iGaming European Network – and HR Konnect ensuring we are not only good listeners but also an energised supporting act and catalyst in there Malta goals and objectives.

of Malta’s growing creative industries. There are several games studios operating in Malta ranging from AAA to Indie game developers. 4A Games and Exient are two of the most well-known companies,

This being a talent game we are further enhancing our

producing major games for desktop and mobile, as

iGaming educational platform by having a dedicated

well as Xbox and Playstation.

iGaming academy called the European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM) a collaboration with MCAST and the MGA together with partnerships also with the iGaming Academy.

On the video gaming front, we are working on ensuring that structures are built to give further and sustainable impetus to the up-and-coming sector. Working closely with the industry should result in the

Joining and connecting the dots within the ecosystem

enhancement of the digital gaming ecosystem, thus

is a vital component of the game.

attracting vital talent to Malta.

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Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

“Our core objective remains the same, that of positioning Malta as the Home of Gaming Excellence”

Investment in this sector is expected to rise in the coming years:

On the local front, we already enjoy a bustling ecosystem, and

the gaming industry, as well as Malta’s growing international film

we want to harness that and ensure that Malta is well positioned

industry are fuelling demand for production houses, including

on the global eSports stage, which is very much in line with our

motion capture studios, sound stages and animation facilities.

‘Home of Gaming’ credentials.

As the global entertainment industry pushes ever more into

While the convergence of iGaming and eSports is a relatively

a virtual world or augmented reality, Malta presents itself as

new territory according to Statista, by 2020 $23.5 billion will be

a viable hub for VR and AR game studios. The increasing

wagered globally on eSports.

number of digital companies operating on the island creates opportunities for game studios and start-up developers to test

For iGaming operators, the opportunities lie in remaining

and scale their products.

relevant to a millennial audience and eSports could provide a

eSports is one area we want to fuel interest and growth and could well become a significant pillar of Malta’s gaming ecosystem. Let’s start with some data to put things into context. The eSports and video gaming global industry is worth $137 billion compared to the more familiar music industry worth $130

gateway to that but is not without its challenges. eSports is a different animal altogether. iGaming operators have to understand that the eSports community is a smart and digital savvy community, with its language, heroes and arenas. So this is not a one-size-fits-all approach but instead requires a deepdive into a strategy encompassing a clear rationale across the

billion US dollars.

marketing and trading channels.

eSports or competitive video gaming now enjoys a global

All successful sport disciplines move forward. Think of VAR

audience estimated at more than 292 million occasional viewers

in football. Until a few years ago it would have been unheard

- effectively a multibillion-dollar business making $1.5 billion,

of while video systems are now being used at the World Cup

generated by eSports in 2020, and reaching the unreachables:

and Champions League. eSports is one of the most growing

the millennials with more than 80% eSports viewers being in the

markets, and as it is already sports and competition based on

18-34 age bracket.

technology, obviously technology and progress are implemented

In this growing sector enhancements to technology translate to

here even faster than at regular sports events.

more players and spectators, so it was only a matter of time until

Technology will also play a defining factor forging a way forward

tech and eSports converge.

which is underpinned by A.I. and blockchain technology.

27


MALTA 27-29 NOVEMBER 2019 MANILA 23-24 JUNE 2020

D’S ILLAGE THE WORL iGAMING V

sigma.com.mt


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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Cover Story

ALL IN THE NUMBERS JULIAN MOORE MET WITH GIOVANNI GARRISI, CEO OF STANLEYBET, TO TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM 90S MODEMS, TO THE A.I. OF THE FUTURE, TO THE FIRST ROBOT RETAIL OPERATOR FOR BETTING SHOPS.

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“Not a lot of people know that the owner of StanleyBet is an Italian! And in 2011 I proudly became British, grateful to the country where I was allowed to follow this fantastic path�

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Cover Story

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Giovanni Garrisi is a man who loves a good challenge, a

With this high-tech advantage over the competition,

man who thrives on numerical probability, and is fluent in the

momentum grew for Garrisi’s sports betting ambitions and he

language of mathematics. He is a man who has made his

realised that he needed a bigger operator to deal with. So

own successes over the years and shows no signs of slowing

he got in touch with Stanley Leisure Group, a listed company

down. He is driven by a passion for numbers and a well-honed

on the London stock market and the 4th largest operator in

instinct for putting them to work in the real world. As he tells

the world with 43 casinos and 600 sports betting outlets. The

me that he’d like our interview to be more of a chat than mere

company had been operating since 1958 and had grown to

bullet points on a press sheet, I’m keen to hear his story...

become a multi-million pound business.

Garrisi, an Italian born in Florence, grew up in Sicily with

“We set up a 50/50 joint venture for international sports

fond memories of a time before technology, when children played in the streets and dreamed of glorious futures. But technology has also helped drive Garrisi to success, shaping his own future and that of StanleyBet. Much like the binary beginnings of the technological revolution, his own destiny was always vested in numbers. “First of all”, he starts our chat, “I am a mathematician”. Garrisi achieved an honours degree in mathematics from the

betting with exclusivity outside England.” Then in 2005 the retail business was bought by William Hill for £500million, while a public takeover bid saw Malaysian company, Genting International, take the remaining casino business in 2006 for £650million. In the same year, Giovanni Garrisi was able to buy the entire international betting division of StanleyBet, bringing with him the best of the previous Stanley Leisure management.

University of Rome, before taking a role with Italy’s

“In that moment, I was able to buy the whole betting division,

Department of Social Security to develop financial software

so I became Mr Stanley in England! Not a lot of people know

for pensions - “Project PN1”, he remembers proudly.

that the owner of StanleyBet is an Italian! And in 2011 I proudly

“Following that project, I spent some five years in Italy’s central bank for currencies, Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi, driven by my

became British, grateful to the country where I was allowed to follow this fantastic path”. He has a cheeky smile on his face, and I like the man even more!

interest in applying mathematics to economics - econometrics. At the same time, I became interested in the gambling industry,

StanleyBet has since gone from strength-to-strength with

seeing it as a branch of mathematics, and with this scientific

Garrisi at the helm.

approach I won a lot of money beating TotoCalcio.” TotoCalcio was the leading football pools totaliser in Italy, challenging players to predict the outcome of 13 weekend matches (now brought to 14). Garrisi applied his aptitude for mathematics to the game and created a system that led to his big win - around €2million in todays money. “Then I realised it would be more profitable to provide this service for others, rather than try to beat the TotoCalcio game every week! In 1984, Rome set an industry first in Europe when I installed a computer in a state pool agent – it was the first in Europe, when everything was still done manually. And in May 1994 I became the first person to bring UK-style betting to Italy.” The first Italian betting shop opened in Bologna just in time for the FIFA World Cup in the US. “It was sports betting, with London operators. I was the only one in Europe, I believe, to have created a technology

“Today Stanley Group is a company with a turnover in excess of €700million”, he explains, “operating in 12 countries, 3 continents, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and employing around 3,000 people.” In the B2C market, the group operates in the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Cyprus, with a focus on aligning their retail and online services to create an omni-channel experience. B2B activity is concentrated on markets in Croatia, Romania, Nigeria, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Cyprus, and the UK.  Operations are managed from the company’s headquarters in Liverpool, UK. Goals over the next three years are to strengthen the company’s position in existing markets and to develop new markets with a B2B approach. Latin America is a new market for the company - they are operating in Peru, and they are in discussion with regulatory authorities in Argentina. “South America has great potential for market expansion”, Garrisi tells me. “It’s a continent

that allowed exchange of betting data between PCs and

with 650 million prospective customers.” However, it’s not

servers in two different countries, in real time. Everyone was

a market that StanleyBet wants to enter alone. “In these

still using photocopies and fax machines, but I was using a

countries, directing operations from the other side of the

computer in Italy, with a modem, to connect to a server in

world is de-facto impossible.” So, as a European-based entity,

London and accept bets within a couple of seconds.” Both

the company is taking a ‘glocal’ approach to the LatAm

the client and server software were created from scratch by

sector, using a local partner to adapt to the market with a

Garrisi working in C programming language.

multichannel strategy across retail, online and mobile.

33


In terms of the company’s overall operations,

“With Trident you can have ten games at the

“the company is active in the betting sector,

same time on the same screen - it’s currently

machine sector, self-service terminal sector,

the best in the market, and represents a

and the virtual sector.”

significant source of our income.”

“Innovation is very important to us -

Trident, powered by Magellan Robotech,

we’re currently working on a project in

leads the way for StanleyBet’s 3d virtual

collaboration with the University of Liverpool

products across both retail and online.

to develop a robot named Alicia, who will be

The product offers a 20-team football

introduced to the world in February 2020.”

championship across 10 simultaneous

It’s clear that the Alicia project is close to Garrisi’s heart. “It’s artificial intelligence,

events, including an extensive variety of markets and combos for betting.

which is a very scientific concept, but it’s also strongly connected to machine learning.” He talks about chess as the typical example that many will recognise, and how A.I. has come so far that, with machine learning, Google’s AlphaZero A.I. program learnt and mastered the game in just four hours before beating the world champion chess program, Stockfish. “Our project with Alicia is directed towards becoming the first robot retail operator in a betting shop, but I like to say that Alicia is a means to an end: if we can develop a cashier, we can develop anything.” The robot will take a female form, welcoming customers and using facial recognition

“With Trident you can have ten games at the same time on the same screen - it’s currently the best in the market, and represents a significant source of our income”

to personalise the retail experience for database-registered players. Based on the success of Trident, the “About two years ago, we created a startup

opportunities for virtual games are clear

called Magellan Robotech. This is the

to see. Across horse racing, tennis,

scientific arm of the company, with 80

greyhounds, and motorsport, to name just

people working in Liverpool across two

a few, virtual games increasingly resemble

areas: betting and gaming, and developing

the real sport. Always available, on demand,

robotic products. The cashier robot is

they offer guaranteed revenue for operators

an ideal way to apply the concept in a

as the games are randomly pre-determined

real-world environment, before we begin

and not affected by human variables like

developing uses in other areas.” It’s a

real-world sports.

small but not insignificant revelation that StanleyBet is expanding into areas outside iGaming, but with innovation at its core, it makes sense that Garrisi would steer the

34

Being a statistician by nature, Garrisi adds that it’s important for StanleyBet to ensure that the experience for players is fair and realistic,

ship into new and interesting waters.

and in particular, unbiased. Stats, numbers,

Yet Magellan Robotech still has fingers in the

that StanleyBet delivers, and as the ever-

iGaming pie, with the virtual tournament ‘Trident’

competitive Garrisi says himself, “I love a

developing a successful offering across the

good challenge, especially when we have the

retail network and set to do well online also.

ability and commitment to win!”

odds, and outcomes shape the experiences


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Cover Story

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INSPIRING INNOVATION DISRUPTING THE TRADITIONAL IT MARKET, HYPERION IS BRINGING INNOVATION TO THE FORE AND BRIDGING THE KNOWLEDGE GAP ACROSS INDUSTRIES THROUGH PROJECTS SUCH AS THE HYPERION ACADEMY. STAV ZILBERSHTEIN SPEAKS WITH SiGMAGAZINE ABOUT HOW HYPERION IS TAKING THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

HOW IMPORTANT IS INNOVATION IN YOUR SECTOR WITHIN THE IGAMING INDUSTRY? I believe innovation is a necessity. Look at the history of any successful company and you will always see how they boom in times of innovation and plummet to the ground when they stop releasing new exciting products or invent something new. It’s a constant battle and sometimes it seems like you are just wasting time and money but there is no other way. Hyperion provides the scalability needed for any company that wishes to innovate and the costs reduce the risk involved in innovation significantly in comparison to hiring software engineers locally, like in Malta for example.

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Q&A

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

WHICH IS THE BIGGEST SOURCE OF TECH

academy in order to push the next generation of

DISRUPTION YOU’RE ANTICIPATING AT THE

blockchain developers forward.

MOMENT?

MARGO PRYLYPSKA, VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES

There is currently a widening gap between operators

AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, RECENTLY TOOK

and affiliates, a result of operators giving less and less

PART IN SiGMA’S WOMEN OF THE YEAR PANEL –

access to their systems to affiliates and vice versa.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE PANELS LIKE THIS TO THE

We are witnessing growth in rising technology

INDUSTRY?

companies that stand in the middle between operators

It’s good to see that there are constant efforts to remind

and affiliates. These include affiliates that got a licence

everyone that women are just as fit as men to perform any

to be brokers. They offer full experience apps that

role. In Hyperion 46% of the roles on our team, including

provide the user a much better experience while leaving

most managerial positions, are occupied by women.

the bookmakers as mere utility providers where you just place a bet. The users enjoy enhanced statistics and other special features that keep them loyal to the app and not to any specific brand. There are many other ambitious projects that arise in that middle layer, mostly because operators take too long to keep up with the ever-changing technologies and user profiles in the market. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN LOOKING FOR

“We created the blockchain academy in order to push the next generation of blockchain developers forward”

COMPANIES TO PARTNER WITH? We are specifically looking for companies that understand that without innovation and without sticking your neck out there will be no future for your business. When so much money is generated every year in the industry, many companies forget how quickly you can

This is not because we are trying to make a statement. It’s simply because we are all human beings and when interviewing fellow humans we care about how fit a person is to perform their role and not which gender group they represent.

get left behind by your competitors if they are the first to

I hope to see more women participating in normal

pick up new products and features.

panels and discussions in the industry, especially since

The companies Hyperion chooses to work with are the ones that identify the importance of staying on top of the game and ahead of the competition and these companies form great partnerships simply because their engine is running in the same direction – towards innovation. YOU ESTABLISHED THE HYPERION ACADEMY, INCLUDING THE HYPERION BLOCKCHAIN ACADEMY

there are already many women in strong positions in the industry. We should strive for a time when there won’t be a need for a panel about women in iGaming but simply that we will see more women on stage throughout the entire agenda. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR HYPERION IN THE LONGER TERM?

- CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR

Hyperion strives to be a leader in providing the best

ATTEMPT TO BRIDGE THE KNOWLEDGE GAP AND ITS

possible experience and results of managed nearshore

NECESSITY TO THE INDUSTRY?

development teams. We are working hard and invest in

Blockchain can solve many different problems in different industries. I would say that firstly it’s important to understand whether you need blockchain for your

our company culture and environment as well as picking our clients carefully to make sure we can achieve outstanding success.

business or whether some other solution will suffice.

We have already grown to have 120 people within our

Hyperion is constantly engaging in the front line of

ranks and as we expand into London we expect to keep

evolving technologies and we created the blockchain

seeing fantastic growth follow.

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BETTING ON THE FUTURE 1XBET IS A BOOKMAKER WITH ONE OF THE MOST VISITED BETTING AND GAMING WEBSITES IN THE WORLD. THEY SIT DOWN WITH SiGMAGAZINE FOR A CHAT ABOUT THEIR PLANS FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION.

YOU RECENTLY ANNOUNCED A PLAN TO SPONSOR THE

ARE YOU CURRENTLY LOOKING TO EXPLORE ANY

CONFÉDÉRATION AFRICAINE DE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENTS.

NEW MARKETS?

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CAF AND SOME OF THE TOURNAMENTS YOU WILL BE SPONSORING.

We’re always on the lookout for new markets to expand into. We have a dedicated team who follow the latest sport trends and

We have a long and beneficial working relationship with the

keep an eye on markets of interest, whilst also supporting the

CAF and have sponsored several of their football tournaments.

regions we already work in, reacting to every new development.

We’ve been very successful on this continent thanks to longstanding contracts with African football clubs and we plan to enter into new sponsorship agreements with tournament organisers and football clubs in the future. THE CAF CONTAINS CLUBS FROM RIGHT ACROSS AFRICA HOW DOES THE AFRICAN MARKET FIT INTO YOUR STRATEGY? As an official partner of both the Nigerian Professional Football

“We’ll be giving just as much attention to other sports that could attract viewers in Africa as we already give to football”

League and the national Nigerian team, as well as Tottenham Hotspur’s official betting partner in Africa, we can confidently

WHAT’S THE TRICK TO INCREASING PLAYER ENGAGEMENT

talk about the importance of developing links with African

AND RETENTION FOR SUCH A GLOBAL AUDIENCE?

football. Here, the sport is developing rapidly and attracting a dramatic amount of interest from its audience. Therefore, as well as partnering with the CAF, we already have a number of arrangements aimed at increasing our company’s visibility throughout the African continent. In the future, we’ll be looking to sign more sponsorship contracts and further increase our presence in this market. Football is incredibly popular in Africa and easily outshines other sports.

is able to find something that interests them. It’s not enough to just offer the world’s top 10 most popular sporting events, because millions of people follow those already. What really interests and engages players are events that take place in their own country. That’s why one of our main aims is to offer betting on local tournaments and new markets, and we’re putting a lot of work into achieving it.

WHAT’S YOUR PLAN TO INTRODUCE OTHER SPORTS

1XBET WON THE “RISING STAR IN SPORTS BETTING

BETTING VERTICALS INTO THE LOCAL MARKETS?

INNOVATION” AWARD AT LAST YEAR’S SBC AWARDS. WHAT

There’s no need to talk about how popular football is – everyone knows that the sport has hundreds of millions of fans, if not approaching a billion, and it certainly hasn’t passed Africa

42

We strive to ensure that everyone who uses our betting services

ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS HELPING YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD AND WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS SUCCESS?

by. However, in terms of popularity, football could be rivalled

For us, the main route to success involves constant product

by athletics and other sports – especially when it comes to true

development and fast innovation. This entails monitoring

sports fans. That’s why we’ll be giving just as much attention to

the latest sports trends and reacting quickly to technological

other sports that could attract viewers in Africa as we already

developments. Our goal is to offer user-friendly, modern

give to football.

products that meet the needs of our audience.


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Q&A

43


REWRITING THE RULE BOOK COMPLIANCE AND RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING INITIATIVES CONTINUE TO BE A KEY FOCUS FOR THE GLOBAL IGAMING SECTOR IN 2019. SiGMA LOOKS AT SOME OF THE ISSUES AND INVITES ABBY COSGRAVE FROM SAFECOMPLY TO SHARE HER EXPERT INSIGHTS.

Keeping up with the constantly changing regulatory

To navigate this minefield it’s clear that iGaming companies need

environment, monitoring affiliate activities, advertising in

experienced expert advice and guidance. A leader in this area

different markets, and data protection are just some of the

is Abby R Cosgrave, CEO & founder of the SafeComply Group.

ongoing challenges for iGaming companies when it comes to

We asked Abby to give us her expert insight on compliance in

compliance in business operations. Perhaps one of the most

iGaming for 2019:

interesting areas for 2019 will be how the inclusion of blockchain and cryptocurrencies into the iGaming industry will affect compliance for banking, payment processing, credit cards and digital wallets. Compliance departments for iGaming and gambling operators have without doubt matured over the past few years with an increasing amount of new regulations being put forward by the vast array of regulatory bodies. It’s a massive understatement to say that comprehending the regulated and deregulated markets of iGaming and their complexity is no easy feat. It’s become increasingly important for operators to organise training and workshops for compliance teams regarding everything from gambling licensing and legislation to advertising, privacy and data protection.

44

“The entry of a number of operators into the Swedish regulated market at the start of 2019 has again illustrated the difficulties faced by operators when moving from a dotcom model to local regulation. Some operators initially struggled with connection to the national self-exclusion register and there has been a lot of confusion regarding the requirements around bonusing and marketing in “moderation”. The Swedish Gambling Authority has already made noises regarding license removal or a substantial fine should operators fail to interpret these requirements in line with the Gaming Authority’s broad interpretation. When moving into newly regulated markets from a dotcom model, operators sometimes fail to accept the underlying principles behind the new regulation, appropriately resource, educate or apply the requirements in a timely fashion and instead learn slowly from enforcement actions, as has been seen in Great Britain.

With so many changes and updates in the area of compliance,

“The Swedish Gambling Authority are offering an anonymous “tip

2019 will see iGaming companies around the world looking to

us” page for reports of non-compliance and with this they have

reduce their regulatory risks and legal fees by providing upper

clearly opened the door for easy reporting of non-compliance.

management and stakeholders with in-depth insights, expert

With this in mind, we can expect to see a reactive regulator going

analysis, ongoing research and market data about both the past

forwards in 2019 with further enforcement actions and fines as

issues and current trends for iGaming compliance.

they receive reports of various actions of operators.


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Feature

“I often say that the issue with gambling operators is their failure to properly self-regulate or implement best practices. Until enforcement on a particular issue hits, the requirement can often be treated like a myth and the ‘watch and see if everyone else does it’ approach to compliance often means that no one implements requirements in line with the true intention of the law. Admittedly, some operators are better than others at this, but there is a reluctance to be seen as “best in class” in relation to responsible customer care or compliance and the main drive to provide a quick and easy gambling experience for commercial benefit remains. In Sweden we have a recent attempt by trade bodies to self-regulate in regard to the marketing aspect of the regulation but it is unlikely to be sufficient to prevent more restrictive regulations and ongoing enforcement. It would be sad to see Sweden, after years of hard lobbying to gain liberalised regulation, become an increasingly restrictive and reactive territory as a direct result of the commercial drive of operators to take and maintain market share in the newly regulated environment.

“The issue with gambling operators is their failure to properly self-regulate or implement best practices” “The main point to take away from the enforcements in Great Britain, of which we can expect to see more this year, are that the central areas of AML and Responsible Gaming (which include responsible marketing to an extent) should not be taken lightly. Given that best practice in these areas can be applied across most licences, I believe this is where compliance strategy should focus and seek to draw as many parallels as possible between regulations. Operators should continually educate and innovate in these areas. “I expect to see advancements in the field of Regulatory Technology this year as operators seek to innovate in compliance, both themselves as well as partnering with RegTech providers to find practical solutions to compliance requirements, Compliance is certainly not the sole domain of technology. People drive compliance. Leadership drives compliance. Training drives compliance. Technology assists in being compliant. Technology will not solve compliance issues on its own and human decisionmaking in Anti Money Laundering and Responsible Gambling should not, in my view, be replaced. However, wherever compliance processes are in place and such processes become repetitive or a tick box exercise, technology could (and should) be used to automate and drive those processes.”

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Q&A

GOWILD GAMING HAS BEEN REFINING ITS PRODUCT SINCE STARTING OUT IN 2008. WITH ITS CUSTOMERS AT THE HEART OF OPERATIONS, THE ONLINE CASINO HAS BEEN STEADILY EVOLVING ITS PLATFORM AND PLAYER EXPERIENCE WHILST ENJOYING WIDESPREAD GROWTH AND SUCCESS. FOLLOWING AN INTERVIEW IN SiGMAGAZINE LAST YEAR, JULIAN MOORE SAT DOWN WITH THE COMPANY’S CEO ITAI ZAK FOR A QUICK CATCH-UP.

WHAT’S THE LATEST NEWS FROM GOWILD? HOW’S BUSINESS? As you know, 2017 was a transformational period for GOWILD, during which, among other things, we completed a complicated migration, opened more offices and expanded our geographical reach, including an official launch in the UK. The immediate results were excellent, but more importantly they put us in prime position for continued growth – which is exactly what happened in 2018. Fuelled by this spirit of innovation, this past year has been fantastic for business, with growth across all our main markets. One of the most visible updates is the redesign of our Wild Jackpot brand (www.wildjackpots.com), which we re-launched with a fresh new design that was extremely well-received by our players and partners alike. We also continued with further enhancements to the GOWILD HERO platform, particularly in terms of the available content, which has already reached 2500+ games available to our players from over 30 gaming software providers.

47


SiGMA INVESTS €500,000 ATTRACTS INVESTORS TO MALTA

SiGMA is investing €500,000 to bring

a conference dedicated to the regulatory

iGaming investors to Malta. SiGMA is

changes in iGaming law – delegates were

reaching out to affiliates and operators

treated to quality debate on some of the most

located beyond the Euro-Med shores and

pressing issues affecting the sphere.

treating them to a luxurious, no-expensespared stay in Malta.

SiGMA Pitch also made a triumphant return, providing a space for innovative young start-

The 500 affiliates and operators who take

ups to gain valuable exposure on the expo

up this offer will benefit from a stay in a

floor, score exclusive invites to networking

5-star room at the Hilton. Guests will also

events, and reel in potential funding and

enjoy a full complement of VIP networking

mentoring from industry veterans.

dinners. Prepared by some of the best chefs in the industry and held at some of the most exclusive restaurants on the island, diners will have plenty of chance to connect with fellow industry dignitaries as they take in some of Malta’s finest views. 2018 saw the 5th incarnation of the show surpass all expectations – setting the

Since its inception, the flagship show has evolved to become a global influencer on the iGaming world stage. If last year’s numbers are any prediction, 2019 is set to smash all previously held records, giving the company’s ambitions plenty of space to play out. SiGMA 2019 will be held from the 27th to 29th November.

standard for future events. With some of the

There can be no doubt that as Malta continues

biggest brands in the industry signing on

to position itself as a haven for industry, SiGMA

to exhibit and sponsor at SiGMA’s premier

has found its niche within a booming economy.

event, and a record-breaking 12,500

2019 will continue to see the high-levels

delegates welcomed through its doors, the

of quality the sector has come to expect,

expo has cemented itself as a solid fixture

creating opportunity for industry players to

on the world’s iGaming calendar.

contribute to the wider conversations affecting

The three day affair saw a wide range of topics discussed at a high level during the six

the iGaming sphere and encouraging business to flourish on the islands.

conferences and workshops, with a number

If you’re an affiliate or operator based

of prominent speakers taking the stage. From

outside the Euro-Med, contact Roberta to

the interplay of blockchain with iGaming, to

join our VIP 500 guest list.


Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

WHAT’S NEW WITH THE GOWILD HERO PLATFORM? In addition to expanding the number of games available on the

further increased, solidifying mobile’s position as the primary channel players choose for playing and betting.

GOWILD HERO platform, we have also expanded the overall

GOWILD HAS A GLOBAL APPROACH – WHICH MARKETS

experience, by adding content from even more providers. Since

ARE YOU OPERATING IN CURRENTLY, AND WHERE ARE YOU

each developer has a different style, this gives the platform

LOOKING TO EXPAND?

an even wider appeal, with an unprecedented level of choice for players of all tastes. And since retention is the name of the game, this exceptional variety helps ensure our players stick

While it’s definitely true that GOWILD has a global approach, we are also trying to cater our products and brands to specific

around longer.

jurisdictions. Our philosophy is you need to think globally, but

Based on our previous achievements, we’ve also continued on

needs. In other words, there is no such thing as “one product

our trajectory of personalisation. This is most keenly felt in terms

fits all”. As such, we make small but significant changes between

of promotions, with each player now receiving the exact types of

markets, for maximum impact – both in terms of our success and

promotions he or she favours, based on their actual preferences

the players’ experience.

implement locally, with solutions that fit each market’s specific

in terms of what they play and how. YOU ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO INNOVATE – WHAT’S YOUR LATEST INNOVATION, AND WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON? In terms of innovation, we are continuing to focus a lot of our efforts on improving the individual player’s experience. While we’ve certainly come a long way in terms of creating a truly tailored player experience, we plan to take things even further. To this end, we’ve been working on adding more powerful functionality to our GOWILD HERO platform. This is done using some of the most advanced business intelligence around, to constantly analyse our players’ preferences and behaviours, and successfully adjust the content and offering on

“The industry as a whole will need to keep investing in finding creative new ways to analyse data faster, and better, in order to make quicker (near-real-time) decisions”

an individual level. In addition, we’ve recently introduced more channels for engagement with our players, aside from the traditional SMS and email communications. These include real-time push

To-date, GOWILD is highly visible in numerous European

messages and voice recordings, which have led to a significant

markets, especially the Nordic ones. In addition, we are growing

improvement in our retention rate, and the ability to engage

significantly in the German market as well as some Eastern

more efficiently with different player groups.

European markets. We’re also in the process of conducting a

THE IGAMING AUDIENCE IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING –

thorough evaluation of the Latin American markets.

WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF IGAMING PLAYER EXPERIENCE

YOU HAVE A GREAT EMPLOYEE OFFERING – WHAT’S THE

ACROSS THE INDUSTRY?

BEST THING ABOUT WORKING FOR GOWILD?

As we already realised a couple years back, personalisation is

GOWILD is not just another work place, it’s a family. We provide

the way of the future when it comes to the iGaming experience.

our employees with the best working conditions and let them

In an era in which individuality reigns supreme, this is a trend

spread their wings and do their magic. This incredible autonomy

that isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only gaining in terms of

is an ethos we work by, and something our employees love. It

popularity, which means players not only want personalisation in

works well only because we deliberately hire the best-of-the-

terms of the content and the promotions they see but they are

best, who we’re happy to give the freedom and authority to

expecting it. If you show them the exact same offering you show

implement creative ideas.

everyone else, it’s simply not going to work.

The other big differentiator is the dynamic atmosphere. GOWILD

This means real-time data analytics and big data will continue to be

has grown tremendously over the past three years, and this

hot topics for operators. But sitting on tonnes of data isn’t enough.

means there are changes happening almost every day. While it

Nor are traditional analytics. The industry as a whole will need to

can certainly be challenging to keep up, people who embrace

keep investing in finding creative new ways to analyse data faster,

a challenge have really thrived in this environment – and have

and better, in order to make quicker (near-real-time) decisions.

seen their careers advance as a result.

The other big change is towards mobile gaming. Last year we

Working here is more than a job. It’s a place where they can

noted a clear shift towards mobile with some 60-70% of iGaming

grow and learn, meet and connect, and gain access to a world

traffic coming from handheld devices. This year the numbers

of opportunity.

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

A FLEXIBLE APPROACH ALTENAR PROVIDES A FULL RANGE OF PRODUCTS RANGING FROM SOFTWARE ONLY TO A FULLY-MANAGED SPORTS BETTING PLATFORM. OFFERING PROVEN STABILITY COUPLED WITH A FLEXIBLE AND PERSONALISED APPROACH, THEIR PRODUCTS HAVE SET THE STANDARDS FOR A GROWING INDUSTRY.

WHAT IN YOUR OPINION MAKES MALTA SUCH AN ATTRACTIVE

Our customers would likely see stability as much more than just

JURISDICTION FOR GAMING COMPANIES?

a highly available software. To explain our motto we could easily

Malta has a unique combination of a favourable and forwardlooking remote gaming legal framework, an attractive tax

rephrase it as “We will never let you down” as that sentiment lies at the core of our business.

environment, excellent climate and English language. Coupled with the European Union membership it makes it a great choice for gaming companies, and has been so for the past twenty years, when Malta introduced the remote gaming legislation. It’s still up for debate whether Malta will continue its “gaming run”, however we have faith that Malta knows how to do business well. WHERE IS THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2019, WHAT ARE THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES FACING IT AT THE MOMENT?

“To explain our motto we could easily rephrase it as “We never let you down”, as that sentiment lies at the core of our business”

We can all agree it’s a hot industry with a great many topics to remark upon. As to the pressing issues facing it, we can mention compliance, which is now a required core competence for any

WHAT IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS FOR ALTENAR?

gaming company to survive, with many different legal frameworks

We value flexibility within stability! This simply means that we move

to adhere to across countries, even within the EU. This leads to

and adapt to the maximum possible extent, in confident steps. We

a consolidation tendency whereby larger and more established

are eager to listen and hear our customers out and change our

companies have the means to adhere to often demanding technical

product fast, when necessary. How we’ve achieved this, is not an

and regulatory frameworks, which creates an environment that

easy question to answer, we’ve evolved into this naturally. Altenar

each successful start-up is immediately an acquisition target. There

consists of many elements that are complementary to each other,

is still a chance to be innovative and unique, and smaller companies

and each person at Altenar brings something unique. The fact that

have been able to differentiate by focusing on improved user

we recruited a big proportion of our staff from other industries,

experience, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

and not necessarily those with prior gaming experience is how

YOUR WEBSITE MENTIONS STABILITY AS A DEFINING QUALITY. CONSIDERING THAT THE MARKET IS MOVING TO

we succeeded to build this new company that does not copy its concept or mentality from other industry players.

PROMOTE QUITE ADVANCED SERVICES, WHAT MAKES YOU

HOW HAS SiGMA HELPED ALTENAR CARVE OUT A SPACE IN

INSIST ON STABILITY?

THE INDUSTRY?

Altenar was born through stability. Stability in ideas, stability

SiGMA is the hottest iGaming conference worldwide. Dynamic and

in service delivery, stability in financing, and stability in our

trendy, it has seen massive growth year-after-year. We boarded “the

commitment to our customers. If anyone asks our employees what

SiGMA train” early enough, where without delay or hesitation we

we offer, we could bet money on the answer featuring the concepts

signed deals with them. It may be a coincidence that the growth of

of stability and flexibility. However, the market out there interprets

SiGMA is happening at the same time as the growth of Altenar. The

stability only as a quality of robust software, which is always “up”.

momentum was not so difficult to maintain.

51


AHEAD OF THE GAME KATY MICALLEF MET UP WITH ALI ATAM, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER AT VIDEOSLOTS, FOR A CHAT ABOUT HOW EMBRACING INNOVATION IS HELPING THEM CATER FOR CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS, WHILST SECURING THEIR PLACE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE INDUSTRY.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN IGAMING, WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE INDUSTRY? I first entered iGaming back in 2007 and in the 12 years that have passed since then I have held several marketing roles. I originally started off working as an affiliate manager for a network. I have then led affiliate and acquisition departments of three well-known brands until I joined Videoslots, where I currently manage all the marketing functions. I think what I love most about the industry is that it is changing all the time and you always need to create something new to be successful. It is an exciting industry with lots happening, fun, but very competitive at the same time.

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Q&A

53


WITH A YOUNGER AUDIENCE DOMINATING DEMOGRAPHICS,

hardware and software, so is therefore a demanding one. It has

HOW HAS THE TRADITIONAL CASINO EXPERIENCE EVOLVED?

never been more important for suppliers and operators to work

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN CATERING FOR A

together to create truly engaging mobile content and doing

NEW GENERATION OF PLAYERS?

this will help us boost engagement and retention in what is a

Entertaining a younger demographic goes hand-in-hand with delivering a seamless mobile offering and with the uptake of

WHAT SAFEGUARDS DOES VIDEOSLOTS.COM HAVE IN

mobile gaming continuing to rise year-on-year, it feels as though

PLACE TO HELP PLAYERS GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY?

we have only really just begun to break the surface of what can

54

generally loyalty-lacking demographic.

be done on handheld devices. Remember, this is a demographic

Like with all other areas of the business, the way in which we

that has grown up alongside the latest technologies, both

can protect vulnerable players is constantly evolving while


Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

understand their gameplay more in depth. “My RTP” gives the player a clearer overview and understanding of the number of spins played and their personal actual RTP in comparison to theoretical RTP. This information is available for them on individual games and overall. We believe that this is a valuable tool for any customer to make use of to better understand and analyse their game play. We believe that information and educating customers is key for them to stay in control! WHAT MAKES FOR A GREAT ONLINE CASINO AND HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR OFFERING REMAINS THE SAME AS THE BUSINESS SCALES UP? I believe a number of criteria must be met in order to make a great online casino. Most importantly, the website must be flawless, offer a good user experience, and be easy to navigate. Then of course there comes the game offerings. We have always tried to offer the full package to our players while still ensuring the highest level of customer service and website functionality. With more than 3,000 of the industry’s most exciting and engaging titles hosted, we can offer all casino players everything under one roof. Variety of payment options and fast withdrawals are also extremely important to keep the online casino successful.

“It has never been more important for suppliers and operators to work together to create truly engaging mobile content and doing this will help us boost engagement and retention in what is a generally loyalty-lacking demographic” IN SUCH A SATURATED INDUSTRY, WHAT IS THE SECRET SAUCE THAT KEEPS VIDEOSLOTS AT THE TOP OF ITS GAME AND AHEAD OF THE CROWD? Gamification and innovation are the two main ingredients that keep Videoslots ahead of the chasing pack. Whether you’re an affiliate, supplier or an operator, competition for business has never been greater and it has therefore never been more we update our procedures and processes. At Videoslots we have a smashing RG team that is dedicated both to monitoring customer behaviour and to interacting with players. We assess customers in order to protect them from harm and educate them in how to play responsibly. Players can then make use of our player protection measures such as deposit and loss limit and time alerts. We were also the first to introduce a maximum

important to offer players something they can’t get elsewhere. We are always looking for ways to enhance our offerings and we have done that very recently with our latest projects such as Wheel of Jackpots and Clash of Spins where players compete against each other and claim rewards, with daily spin clashes taking place every two hours throughout the year. Videoslots players are able to watch their progress on the leader-board as active clashes of their favourite slots, which feature a number

stake limit. These are just a few of the tools offered to our

of suppliers, play out. These extra layers of gamification offers

players to help them stay in control. We have also developed

not only more excitement than ever, but also promotes operator

“My RTP”, a brilliant tool for a customer to make use of to

loyalty to improve retention.

55


HOT ON THE TRAIL OF SUCCESS TODOR ZAHARIEV - MANAGING DIRECTOR AT EGT INTERACTIVE, SITS DOWN WITH SiGMAGAZINE.

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR HOT GAMES, AND WHAT

one has the capacity to attract the player and to make them play

DIRECTION THEY WILL TAKE THIS YEAR.

again. This is why we can call it our winner.

Our HOT games combine the classical look with advanced technological solutions and stunning animations. The series is the most popular in our portfolio and this is why we count a lot on it, not only to provide the player with an exciting experience and expand our market share, but also to bring our company a high level of brand recognition. EGT is strongly focused on constantly improving the HOT games by following the trends and answering to the growing needs of the customer. At the same time, it is important for us to preserve our identity in a way that appeals most to our dedicated players. I am happy to mention that a month ago we released our brand-new HOT game – 20 HOT Blast. The game is unique, as it features TOPPLING REELS. The new feature makes the spins

“Part of the reason behind this success is the exceptionally successful mathematical algorithm, great RTP and the overall simplicity that manages to find a balance between real gambling and entertainment”

hotter and the winnings sweeter. THE FRUIT THEME OFTEN APPEARS IN YOUR SLOTS, WHAT

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR 2019, ANYTHING EXCITING

WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THAT?

HAPPENING?

Firstly, I would like to mention that due to our synergy with

In accordance to our long-term strategy to enter new territories,

EGT the whole portfolio of slots is directly taken from land-

we are currently in certification for Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden,

based machines and transferred in HTML5 available for

and Czech Republic, where we expect some new successful

desktop and mobile. This is also one of our biggest competitive

partnerships with top operators. We are continuously widening our

advantages and the reason why our content is well known

presence in the rest of the territories where we are already present.

amongst players worldwide. The fruit series really stands out

Needless to say, we are constantly in the process of certifying new

for its classic simplicity. Based on our long-lasting expertise,

games for the markets we are already present in.

this visual approach works perfectly in the context of our target group – professional players, the ones that are after the real winnings. The endless palette of colours, fruitful graphics and incredible look, in combination with different characters, such as the smiling joker, or the exploding bombs, make the game an adventure for the player. Being one of the most emblematic symbols of the Casino world, the lucky Seven and the dazzling Star are also there to give the player more chances to win. WHICH IS YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL GAME SO FAR, AND WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS? Actually, all of our games are successful, because all of them have a strong base of dedicated players. Usually we develop our games in-line with the players needs but most importantly we count on variety. This is why we give our players the opportunity to enjoy whatever they like - battling Amazons, shining Diamonds, magical Zodiac Wheel or even the hidden Secrets of Alchemy. In terms of volume, I can attest to the fact that the fruit series is the most successful. The fruit games are preferred by players of different nationalities, ages, and cultures and I think this is the most prominent sign that they are top notch. One of the best

In terms of products, we are focused on developing and widening our portfolio. Currently we are working on a few new projects: a new Jackpot system; and we are also developing some new great features for our highly successful Roulettes and brand-new MGS featuring 6 exceptional games or the so-called Egypt Quest. These are just some of the novelties that our dedicated fans can expect very soon. YOU’LL BE PARTICIPATING AT SiGMA AGAIN THIS YEAR, HOW WAS YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE AT THE SHOW AND WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR? We are very excited that EGT Interactive participated for the first time as an exhibitor at SiGMA in Malta last year. Thus, we emphasised the contemporary and interactive visual of the stand and our presence as a whole on the iGaming map. Everyone who passed through the booth could get acquainted and enjoy some of our most famous premium casino slots. The interest in our top notch proposals and the territories that we cover was amazing. So we had a great time at this increasingly important event in the iGaming world and we’re looking forward to the next edition

performing games for all markets is 40 Super Hot.

of SiGMA, which we’re sure will be even more successful. Of

Part of the reason behind this success is the exceptionally

games and are definitely looking for them, especially because

successful mathematical algorithm, great RTP that keeps the

we pay attention to their needs. Things are heating up, we’re

player in the game longer, and the overall simplicity that manages

getting bigger and more successful – we can’t wait to see what

to find a balance between real gambling and entertainment. This

the future holds!

course, we’ll show new headlines too. After all, people like our

57


AN OVERVIEW OF THE SPORTS BETTING MARKET IN THE UNITED STATES BY JINIA SHAWDAGOR

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Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

THE SPORTS BETTING MARKET IN THE US IS STEADILY MOVING TOWARDS REGULATION. THE TREND IS BEING SPEARHEADED BY STATES LIKE NEW JERSEY, NEVADA, MISSISSIPPI, AND DELAWARE WHERE THE MATURE GAMBLING MARKET IS ALREADY PRESENT. RESISTANCE TO THIS TREND COMES FROM MAJOR US PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUES, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND THE NCAA. THIS DIVIDE IN OPINION HAS LED TO A GREY AREA IN GAMBLING LEGISLATION THAT COMES WITH ITS OWN SET OF OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES.

The legality of sports betting and online casinos is challenged by three key federal acts, namely the Wire Act 1961, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 2006, and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992. THE PASPA CHAPTER

Department of Justice issued a memo that clarified the ambit of the Wire Act as limited only to ‘sporting event or contest’. This meant that online gambling activities like lottery, poker, and casino games don’t fall under the Wire Act. This essentially gave the states the right to legalise and regulate all online lottery and casino games.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992 is a judiciary-overturned law that defined the legality and applicability of sports betting in the US. Its end goal was to stop the proliferation of sports betting. However, PASPA allowed four states; Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana to continue with regulated sports betting. It even gave New Jersey a window to legalise sports betting within one year of PASPA enactment.

However, on 14th January 2019, the Department of Justice took a complete U-turn on its 2011 decision and issued a fresh opinion on the scope of the Wire Act. It also issued a 90 days compliance period after which it would start indictment based on its re-interpretation of the Act. The 90-day deadline expired on 13th of April 2019.

New Jersey failed to introduce the necessary legislation and later went to court to repeal PASPA. In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey against a notorious federal law that had been in place for more than 25 years. The Top Court declared PASPA to be unconstitutional in the Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association case, citing that it violated the Tenth Amendment. As of now, PASPA remains unconstitutional, and several states have moved bills to legalise sports wagers.

“On 14th January 2019, the Department of Justice took a complete U-turn on its 2011 decision and issued a fresh opinion on the scope of the Wire Act”

States that have legalised sports betting includes Arkansas, West Virginia, New Jersey, Nevada, Mississippi, New Mexico, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and Rhode Island. On the other hand, states that have introduced various bills to legalise sports betting include Oregon, Montana, Indiana, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maine, Arizona, Hawaii, South Dakota, Texas, Washington State, Georgia, Vermont, North Carolina, Colorado, and Alabama. THE FEDERAL WIRE ACT 1961 The Federal Wire Act was introduced in 1961 to prohibit the electronic transmission of data from one state to another for betting/wagering purposes. In September 2011, the

The new ruling makes all forms of online gambling that involve interstate transactions illegal. This reversal of stance took the gambling industry by surprise as huge investments had been made during the previous eight years. This reversal will essentially make all online gambling in the US illegal. It has prompted several protests by states that consider legislation of online gambling as a source of tax revenues. However, the opinion is not binding on companies and several firms are planning to take the battle to court. The new position has already been challenged in the New Hampshire District Court, and the DOJ has issued a fresh 60 days grace period for companies to comply with the new guidelines. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal has tracked the DOJ reversal to lobbyists of Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson is the owner of the Sands Corporation, one of the biggest land-based casinos in Las Vegas.

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Advertorial

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

LET’S ROAR! LEOVEGAS’ PASSION IS “LEADING THE WAY INTO THE MOBILE FUTURE”. LEOVEGAS RUNS EUROPE’S FASTEST AND MOST USER-FRIENDLY MOBILE GAMING PLATFORM, OFFERING 1,000+ CASINO GAMES, THE WORLD’S LARGEST SUITE OF LIVE CASINO ENTERTAINMENT IN HD AND A SPORTSBOOK, WITH THE FASTEST MOBILE BETS IN THE INDUSTRY.

One may ask, ‘How did LeoVegas come about?’ LeoVegas was born by a series of semi-coincidental events when our two co-founders, Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson, were playing around with their new iPhone. Whilst spinning it on the table, they thought how spinning the phone almost simulated the spinning of a roulette wheel. They then thought how smart phones were revolutionising the way we use our mobile devices and how from communication devices they were turning into entertainment ones. Our cofounders wanted to create the very first mobile gaming company. Since then LeoVegas has kept on growing year by year. A large part of this success can be credited to an extreme product and technology focus coupled with effective and data-driven marketing. Today we are around 900 employees within the group and have offices all over Europe. LeoVegas became a listed company in 2016. During the past few years we have made key acquisitions enabling us to grow internationally in regulated markets according to our strategy. The strategic acquisitions of Winga, Royal Panda, Rocket X, IPS, Casino Grounds and Pixel.bet have brought added value and strength to LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group in many ways. LeoVegas is internationally acclaimed as best of class and has won its fair share of prestigious awards from various industry institutions, such as Mobile Casino of the Year and Operator of the Year!

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Working at LeoVegas means that you wake up to a roaring morning, every morning. Our team gets to work in a group of companies that is at the forefront of gaming and technology innovation. Caring about our Lions means that we offer some of the best benefits in Malta, including fully-paid private health insurance, sports allowances, and fitness classes - which are some of our most appreciated benefits. In addition to that, we offer breakfast on Mondays, lunch on Fridays and a fully stocked snack-bar with healthy snacks all year around. LeoVegas is a workplace where no day is the same. Getting the right people on board is key for us. We are proud to say that we act as a global recruitment agency for the whole group. By working as one global agency, we can attract talent from all parts of the world and offer roles across our offices in Europe. LeoVegas is looking forward to continue its growth into new markets and keep seeking new ways to lead the way into the mobile future. For more roles, information and to apply, visit www.leovegascareers.com.


Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

IT’S TIME TO TRADE CAREFULLY Casinos and iGaming operators will have to trade carefully even as they look to expand their presence online. DOJ will more likely crack the whip on such ventures. Take the example of Pennsylvania that plans to launch its first iGaming industry. Though PA was supposed to spring into operation in early 2019, the launch has been postponed until Q3 following a meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Now, as the DOJ continues with the debate, states like New Hampshire have taken legislative measures. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission launched a lawsuit in partnership with Pollard Banknote and Neopollard Interactive. Another trade group known as iDEA Growth has also launched a parallel lawsuit. As things stand, the DOJ is unlikely to prosecute lotteries that fetch more than $4 billion for Pennsylvania alone. Even if the DOJ fails to go after the lotteries, all states should unite to oppose the enactment of the Wire Act Opinion. UIGEA The UIGEA is a controversial legislation that was brought into effect on the last day before Congress dissolved for 2006 elections. It is not an act on its own, and it has been introduced as a part of an unrelated SAFE Port Act, which related to port security. Many experts, including the Economist, have criticised the way UIGEA was hastily attached to the SAFE Port Act at the last moment. The UIGEA prohibits gambling businesses from processing payments related to gambling activity. It not only restricts payment data but also data on customer information. UIGEA led to a mass scale rejection of US players from gambling platforms based in Europe. It also prompted Antigua to raise a dispute against the US in the World Trade Organisation. The case was ultimately settled by concessions in other sectors. In April 2011, the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were indicted for violations of the UIGEA. As of now, the UIGEA remains a big roadblock towards full legalisation of gambling in the US. STATES RUSHING TO OPEN BOOKS Following the repeal of PASPA, many people expected New Jersey to be the first on the line to open the first market given that they initiated the case. However, Delaware managed to beat the Garden State to the punch. This is because Delaware is among the few states that had some sport betting regulations before PASPA. They had been using those laws to offer parlay betting services on NFL games for years. On June 5, 2018, Delaware opened its first three racetracks with full sportsbooks. They started with two venues at Borgata casino in Atlantic City and Monmouth Park in New Jersey. By September 2018, they were already joined by West Virginia, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania.

With the introduction of online wagering, New Jersey recorded a massive $73 million in revenue and an impressive $928 million in the total handle by the end of November.

“New Jersey recorded a massive $73 million in revenue and an impressive $928 million in the total handle” THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMBLING IN THE US The online gambling market of the US is a massive industry that mostly survives on foreign casinos. This results in a massive outflux of possible revenues and jobs. A study by Transparency Market Research Group pegs the US gambling market to be worth $100+ billions, with most of it happening illegally through proxy servers and foreign gateways. Online gambling has received a positive response in various perception polls as an entertainment option. States are particularly interested in legalising and regulating online gambling as it will boost their tax revenue and generate jobs. One key challenge comes from major sporting leagues that feel that sports betting will take away the spirit of the sports. There are also no significant institutions that regulate sports betting and online gambling on a national level. The grey areas of this industry lie inbetween disparate state laws and the exchange of data on state levels. However, if the 14th January 2019 decision is not successfully repealed, it will have a chilling effect on the US online gambling industry. This is because even though the new ruling does not prohibit intrastate betting, it’s tough for bookies and online casinos operators to ascertain that no digital payment is being routed from other states.

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Opinion

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

A HIGH WIRE ACT AS ANDREW MARVELL WROTE, LINES PARALLEL, THOUGH INFINITE, CAN NEVER MEET. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT FORBIDDEN LOVE, BUT HE MAY AS WELL HAVE WRITTEN HIS POEM ON ONLINE GAMBLING IN THE US. IT CERTAINLY SEEMS THAT WAY IN LIGHT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S RECENT REVERSAL OF OPINION ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THE 1961 WIRE ACT – A LAW ORIGINALLY PASSED TO COMBAT ORGANISED CRIME. KATY MICALLEF LOOKS AT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMBLING IN THE US SHOULD THE LATEST INTERPRETATION BE UPHELD.

When Congress passed the Wire Act in ’61, their concern

sentence as a whole or not. If it is merely to illustrate

was squarely on sports betting and the bookmaking

the point that all bets and wagers are prohibited, then it

black market, which was providing organised crime with

seems strange that the word ‘example’ never crops up.

wealth and power. This interpretation held for a good

Which also leads one to ask - if the true purpose of the

40 years, before a short stint under Bush when it was

Act was to outlaw all bets or wagers, why is the phrase

declared to cover all forms of online gambling, a position

included at all. The only reasonable assumption one can

that most legal experts disagreed with. The Wire Act was

make then is that the phrase ‘sporting event or content’

again clarified in 2011, returning to its original stance –

is a limiting phrase that specifically refers to bets or

that the act only covers interstate sports betting.

wagers made on sporting events. Let’s hope the courts agree, otherwise multi-state online lotteries such as the

The DOJ’s new conclusions are hinged on a comma – or

Mega Millions and the Powerball are in for a rough ride.

the lack thereof. The result of this grammatical faux pas means all online gambling, including the newly legalised sports betting, now violates the Act. The 2018 Supreme Court ruling to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is barely out of infancy, even though declaring the Act unconstitutional triggered a major shift in the sports betting scene. Now, just as the dust is settling, it looks like they might have to give all that up. Sheldon Adelson, well known for his persistent lobbying against online gambling, must be thrilled. The clause in question is one that prohibits use of a ‘wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting

“The only reasonable assumption one can make then is that the phrase ‘sporting event or content’ is a limiting phrase that specifically refers to bets or wagers made on sporting events”

event or contest..’ The clause is undoubtedly badly written – and because

The uncertainty of the ruling means that legal waters

federal courts generally look to the language of a statute

won’t really be tested until the grace period is up – a

when interpreting the meaning, the Wire Act may be stuck

time frame which had originally been set for mid-April,

in a never-ending loop of reinterpretation and contention.

but has since been extended to mid-June to give

And this clause is far from unambiguous and plain, which

gambling operators more time to get their act together.

gives institutions like the DOJ plenty of room to manoeuvre.

Due to the choppy history behind the Act, what happens

What people are quibbling over though, is whether

next will almost certainly hinge on past court cases and

the phrase ‘sporting event or contest’ applies to the

how judges ruled.

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19.07 / 26.07 / 02.08 / 09.08 TICKETS FROM TICKETARENA.COM.MT


Opinion

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

In the 2002 case of Mastercard, where a number of customers lost

enforcement action against licensed iGaming operators in either

money when they used their credit cards to purchase chips on online

state. Their decision was hailed by New Jersey Governor Phil

gambling websites, the judge was crystal clear in his interpretation:

Murphy, who described iGaming as a key component of the

‘... a plain reading clearly requires that the object of the gambling

state’s plan to revitalise Atlantic City and strengthen its economy.

be a sporting event or contest. As the plain language of the statute and case law interpreting the statute are clear, there is no need to look to the legislative history of the [Wire] Act . . . . However, even a summary glance at the recent legislative history of internet gambling legislation reinforces the Court’s determination that internet gambling on a game of chance is not prohibited conduct...’ The case later went to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the court didn’t mince their words, saying: “Because the Wire

“According to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, the state could be looking at a loss of at least $5million, maybe more”

Act does not prohibit non-sports internet gambling, any debts incurred in connection with such gambling are not illegal.” In 2007 however, the District Court of Utah disagreed, concluding “that the Act is not confined entirely to wire communications related to sports betting or wagering.” There have already been a number of challenges to the DOJ. In February, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and the state’s attorney general filed a legal challenge, the state’s online

Grewal has been particularly vocal in his criticism of the decision, suggesting that the motives may not be entirely unbiased – accusing them of pandering to anti-lobbying groups, such as Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The Freedom of Data request should answer a number of questions and may hold some sway over any enforcement proceedings the DOJ may launch against entities it deems to be violating its revised stance. SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR GAMBLING OPERATORS?

lottery platform provider, NeoPollard Interactive filed its own challenge the same day and iDEA Growth trade group have also

While things are certainly unstable at the moment, we’re unlikely

brought forward a suit. According to the New Hampshire Lottery

to see hard-core enforcement – at the end of the day the real

Commission, the state could be looking at a loss of at least

authority lies with Congress and they have bigger things on their

$5million, maybe more. The DOJ has since moved to block their

plate right now rather than bothering with grey-area industry.

challenge, asking the court to have it dismissed.

It’s unlikely we’ll hear that the likes of MGM or Caesars have received surprise raids on their offices. They could. But they

New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal and his

won’t. Public opinion simply wouldn’t stand for it and the legal

Pennsylvania counterpart, Josh Shapiro have also hurled heavy

battles would take years to untangle. Expect instead feebler

criticism at the DOJ. The Attorney General’s have asked the

attempts at securing control like cease and desist letters. In the

DOJ for assurances that the Department will not launch any

meantime, there’s everything to play for.

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Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

CATHERINE CALLEJA, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ATLAS HEALTHCARE WRITES ABOUT HOW INITIATIVES SUCH AS EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES CAN TACKLE WORKPLACE STRESS, REDUCE HEALTH ISSUES AND BOOST PRODUCTIVITY.

INVESTING IN STRESS REDUCTION FOR A MORE

Atlas will be introducing the ICAS services to clients’ HR and

PRODUCTIVE, HEALTHIER WORKFORCE.

people-management teams. Through ICAS, employers in Malta

Recruitment and employee retention are amongst the biggest challenges HR managers are facing today. Across all industries and skill levels, finding the right candidate to fill new positions has become increasingly difficult, let alone retaining that person for longer than two years. Training people for their next job rather than the job they were recruited for is becoming all too common. Within this scenario, offering new recruits and current employees an attractive working environment is crucial. In a recent AXA ICAS International Poll (2014) 96% of the workers believe lifestyle

now have access to a service offering unlimited 24/7 access to master’s level clinicians, in addition to access to local legal and financial helplines and local face-to-face counselling. The service also offers access to an extensive online support and information portal including videos and podcasts. It comes at a fixed annual fee per employee (which includes the same support for family members). Another unique aspect of the programme is that it also includes 24/7 telephone support and online resources for the company’s HR and line managers, which in today’s working environment, can provide invaluable assistance.

or health affects performance and a Healthsite survey further shows that 40% of workers worry about money or debt. In a December 2018 Council of Europe report on Stress at Work, it was acknowledged that stress is a serious public health issue and stress management needs to be integrated into workplace health and safety policies. The recommendation is that an increased emphasis on psychosocial risks needs to be made and stress prevention, management and reduction needs to be

“Training people for their next job rather than the job they were recruited for is becoming all too common”

mainstreamed. But in the same ICAS poll referred to above, only 25% of those questioned felt that their employer took active steps to help them manage stress. A recent Aberdeen study has shown that investing in an EAP decreases absences due to illness and increases productivity. Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) have benefits for employers reducing absenteeism, staff turnover and healthcare costs while at the same time increasing productivity and engagement. This results in a happier, more productive workforce and an increased return on your business. Employees and their families will be helped to cope with both personal and work related issues, while also helping them maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. With access to an EAP 24/7, 365 days a year there is never a need to wait for assistance.

ICAS also has the resources to offer access to a wide range of complementary services in many markets including webinars, critical incident planning and response, trauma support, wellness programme creation and development, coaching, training, and health profiling. ICAS has been established and experienced in designing, implementing and operating employee assistance (EAP), counselling and wellbeing programmes and related services for over 30 years, initially in the UK and then globally, since 1987. The company is represented worldwide through a network of highquality provider partnerships and affiliate providers in 126 countries. A really important aspect of the EAP is confidentiality. ICAS follows strict guidelines on ethics and data protection. Your

EAPs support corporate wellness programmes by enhancing the

employees can be reassured that they will remain anonymous if

mental and physical wellbeing of employees. Employers who

they make use of the ICAS services.

choose to purchase this service are provided with psycho-social support for employees and their family members, aimed at enabling them to cope more readily with many of the personal issues that can cause stress and anxiety, and helping them to deal with these before they become significant. ICAS INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

Reporting on utilisation and the most common employee issues is useful for helping employers design their wellbeing programmes in order to improve working conditions and environments, reduce stress, and improve employee satisfaction (to maintain confidentiality, ICAS does not provide information on individual cases).

PROGRAMMES NOW AVAILABLE IN MALTA

Atlas Healthcare Agency Limited is authorised under the

As of 2019, ICAS International, the global wellbeing division of

The EAP is not an insurance product but is provided as a product

UK and International health insurers AXA PPP healthcare, will

ancillary to insurance. It is an assistance service exclusively

now be providing their global EAP in Malta, introduced locally by

provided by AXA ICAS Limited and Atlas Healthcare has no direct

Atlas Healthcare Insurance Agency.

or indirect involvement in the provision of the service.

Insurance Distribution Act to act as Enrolled Insurance Agents.

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

PLAYSON IS AN INDUSTRY-LEADING GAME DEVELOPER THAT HAS BECOME KNOWN FOR DELIVERING STUNNING VISUALS AND CUTTING-EDGE CONTENT. SiGMAGAZINE CAUGHT UP WITH IVAN FARRUGIA, PLAYSON’S MANAGING DIRECTOR, TO FIND OUT WHAT MAKES THEM TICK.

YOU’RE A FAIRLY NEW COMPANY, HAVING BEEN ESTABLISHED IN 2012. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? Playson started out as the pet project of a group of skilled game developers who wanted to create cutting-edge games for other players like themselves. Driven by their ideals of quality and innovation, they began working to create games that would appeal to a broad audience. While this started as a small-scale, independent project, over time it has blossomed into the complex operation we are today. The size may have grown significantly, but the ambition is the same: deliver a gaming experience that engages, enthralls and rewards players with premium digital entertainment. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR PLAYSON SO FAR? For a few years the challenge was zeroing in on the best business model that would see our games distributed across as many casinos as possible, all the while keeping track of compliance responsibilities and jurisdictional regulations as we expanded into more regulated markets. Then, as the company grew and departments enlarged, we had to take a different look at how we ran our operations and the best corporate structure and processes to enable the business to pursue its next milestones. YOU CURRENTLY OPERATE IN REGULATED MARKETS, SUCH AS MALTA, ITALY, SPAIN, SWEDEN, AND THE UK. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO EXPLORE OUTSIDE OF EUROPE? It wasn’t until recently that we made a firm commitment in that respect. While we have expanded our peripheral field of vision to keep track of developments within emerging

markets such as LatAm and Africa, we have opted for a narrower focus and a concentration of efforts towards maximising our presence on the lucrative and extensivelyregulated European market. We are particularly excited about our continued expansion in Romania, Sweden and Denmark for the following 3-4 quarters. WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MILESTONES TO DATE? The first milestone was undoubtedly receiving our MGA license in 2012. It was the first founding stone for Playson to confidently present its products to the European market. Next came the UKGC licence, and with it a powerful boost in our sales activity, as more and more operators not only became aware of Playson but also identified in us a compliance-focused partner that can deliver top quality content matched with reliable support services. The latest major milestone is actually unfolding as we speak. As a result of a spectacular growth rate we are now at a point where the company’s workflow processes are being re-thought from the ground up. It’s challenging and exciting, as we get to see Playson emerging as a mature, sophisticated organisation, with a strong culture, while retaining its signature agility and dynamism. WHAT QUALITIES ENHANCE THE PLAYER EXPERIENCE AND WHAT INSPIRES THE CREATIVE PROCESS BEHIND YOUR AMAZING VISUALS? A fundamental commitment to player experience has always been the main force driving creativity and innovation in Playson. We want players to enjoy their time on our products, and to this end we lead with aesthetic visuals that boast market-leading HD quality in terms of detail and richness, paired with theme-relevant soundtracks to create an immersive audiovisual experience.

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Stars Affiliate Club is the new affiliate program behind The Stars Group leading brands:


Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

“A fundamental commitment to player experience has always been the main force driving creativity and innovation in Playson”

A lot of work goes into fine-tuning the overall visual products, and

this trend only moving in one direction we are heavily investing

no detail is small enough to be ignored, which is well exemplified

in continual reviewing and refreshing of our mobile UIs across

in our fruit symbols which feature throughout our Timeless Fruit

our whole product range, to ensure that we deliver products

Slots portfolio games.

which are at the forefront of optimisation for mobile users.

HAVE PLAYER EXPECTATIONS CHANGED MUCH SINCE YOU STARTED OUT – WHAT DO THE PLAYERS OF TODAY LOOK FOR FROM GAME DEVELOPERS? I think the old paradox “everything has changed, while

More generally we are heavily focused on keeping abreast of technological advances and, where we see value in emerging and new technologies, we embrace it into our work processes. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR PLAYSON?

everything stayed the same” applies here. The palette of player

Playson is growing both vertically and horizontally. We have

preferences has substantially diversified, however most punters

trebled the headcount in our Sales Team to capitalise on the

still crave the same simple equation: wins + enthralment +

opportunities which our new licences and target markets present

seamless play.

to us. Our main focus is expanding our presence across European

On that note, I would say the quality of experience is nowadays an expected standard. Uninterrupted sessions, responsive customer care and omni-channel experience are some innovations that have become common practice across the industry. WHAT TRENDS HAVE ADVANCING TECHNOLOGIES BROUGHT TO THE GAMING EXPERIENCE, ARE YOU LOOKING TO

regulated markets and operators, and we anticipate steady expansion into Scandinavian and Eastern European territories in the remainder of 2019 and beyond. On the product side, we have increased our output so that we are releasing a record number of games this year, as well as planning to deliver new experienceenhancing promotional mechanics to offer players even more engagement with our products following on from the launch of our

IMPLEMENT ANY NEW INNOVATIONS TO YOUR PORTFOLIO?

hugely successful in-game Tournaments tool. We recently ran our

I’d say the big trend now is the consolidation of mobile devices as

so we’re looking forward to hosting similar network events

the dominant channel for online betting and gaming activity, with

throughout the remainder of the year and beyond. So there’s

some operators now receiving 75%+ bets via mobile devices. With

plenty going on at Playson, and the future looks bright.

first ever large-scale network promotion which was a big success,

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WHEN DAVID MET GOLIATH START-UP ZIMPLER IS A SWEDISH COMPANY THAT OFFERS EASY TO USE MOBILE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS FOR THE iGAMING AND FINTECH INDUSTRIES. THEY LAUNCHED ZIMPLER GO LAST YEAR AND HAVE NOW OPENED AN OFFICE IN MALTA. HEADING THE MALTA DIVISION IS CCO RHI BURNS; KATY MICALLEF SAT DOWN WITH HER TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER PLANS TO IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE, LONG-TERM GROWTH COUPLED WITH GOOD, HONEST BUSINESS PRACTICES.

YOU WERE RECENTLY APPOINTED CCO OF ZIMPLER AND ARE THE FIRST HIRE IN MALTA, WHERE WILL YOUR FOCUS LIE?

of the cashier, which means brands completely rely on us to operate, and having a strong team to support them will be imperative.

My initial focus for the first few weeks was to spread the word of our new product, ZimplerGO and get clients in and ready to go live with us in Sweden as their ‘instant account’ solution. Now that we have a nice backlog of brands ready, I’m focusing on the bigger picture: updating processes, bringing new ideas to the table and lining clients up for our next markets. We have Finland coming up very soon, which is great, as there are a lot more clients available to us.

YOU HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF EXPERIENCE IN IGAMING, WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS INDUSTRY?

Soon, I’ll look at hiring a team here in Malta so we can meet all of our clients’ needs on the island. As an ‘instant account’ solution we can take up to 100%

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I’ve been in the industry for over 12 years now and I kind of fell into it. I was 18, I had to get a job to help pay my way and in my tiny little town the only available job was in the high street bookmakers. I spent 2 years at Ladbrokes, becoming one of the youngest shop managers ever and I just loved the atmosphere. Eventually, I realised gambling was moving online so I went to Betfair. Then in 2010, I headed over to Malta for some sunshine, working for Netrefer, Trustly and Catena Media as Head of Sales.


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“I’ve had my ups and downs in the industry. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned that there is no shame in knowing your worth and being confident as a woman”

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

I’ve had my ups and downs in the industry. Being a woman in a male-dominated arena hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to put up with things that would make your hair curl (like mine!) but as I’ve matured, I’ve learned that there is no shame in knowing your worth and being confident as a woman. Luckily, the industry seems to be realising this too and has become a lot more accepting of women, especially in leadership positions. But what kept me going was my love of how exciting the industry is. The cowboy years were fun, we got to test and try so many different things and now we’re entering a new era of compliance, which is great in its own way. Now the focus is on player protection, so we can all feel a little prouder of what we’re doing and in turn, the iGaming companies’ focus is now on product and innovation rather than eye-catching bonuses. This means we’re seeing more imaginative slot games than ever, much cleverer marketing and entirely new solutions, like ZimplerGO, to take the player experience to a new level of convenience. LET’S TALK ABOUT OPERATIONS IN MALTA, WHAT MOTIVATED THE DECISION TO OPEN AN OFFICE HERE? WHY MALTA? Zimpler has been around for about 5 years now, in various forms. Operating from Sweden, Zimpler has a finger in many industries, but its pole position is within Finance and iGaming. Being so far removed from the island where so many of their clients are based has held them back. The time was never quite right to take that step, make that investment on the island, but last year Zimpler launched our ZimplerGO product, which needs a much closer and stronger bond with the client in order to succeed. Being based here to meet with clients face-to-face to really build trust and relationships became paramount. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MAIN PRODUCT – ZIMPLER GO. ZimplerGO is a new breed of ‘instant account’ solutions. This style of payment method exploded last year and the brands seeing the most growth in the tricky Swedish market are the ones who have embraced it. We came on the scene to offer an improved version of this innovative payment solution, with more flexibility, more choice and a more sustainable commercial business model for our clients. We wanted to offer a similar product, but with more innovation and at better rates and with stronger, more long-term relationships. It’s been tough, but the product

is getting there. Each day we’re learning and improving and I’m super excited about the coming launches of new features and new clients. YOU’RE A START-UP, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE IT AND HOW DIFFICULT HAS IT BEEN TO ESTABLISH A FOOTHOLD IN THIS INDUSTRY? We are lucky in that we’re a start-up, but with decades of experience behind us. Our co-founders, Johan and Kristofer have names like Betsson, Kambi and Klarna in their work history. They already had the know-how and some good connections, which definitely helped in the beginning. Then I came on board with my local network and experience to push things to the next level. But really, it comes down to trust. Having a prior network that already trusts you makes you an easy choice in the new venture. Anyone you meet is a potential client, whether now, or in 10 years, so it’s important to keep that in mind when dealing with people. And there is no denying that it’s also about hard work. Building a product, testing it, not panicking when things go wrong, but stepping up and improving, rebuilding and keeping the faith! IS MALTA A GOOD PLACE FOR A START-UP TO FLOURISH DO YOU THINK? IS THE COUNTRY HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WITH ITS INVESTMENT IN TECH AND INNOVATION? Absolutely. Malta has its pros and its cons but one huge positive about this country is its willingness to accept new technology. It’s a bustling island for ideas and a great place for entrepreneurs, with so many peers around you to sense check your idea, to help you create it, fund it and ultimately get the traction you need. HOW DO YOU BALANCE RESPONSIBILITY AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL ROUND FINANCIAL WELL BEING? Zimpler believes that our main job is to increase conversion and retention. We can, together with our partners, optimise the conversion by offering the most popular payment solutions in our Instant Account solution ZimplerGO and combine this with great UX and UI and a lot of trial and error, constantly learning. Becoming the best payment company within retention requires us to make sure that Zimpler delivers end-users that don´t overspend. If an end-user is not financially well, they will churn out. That will be a loss for the iGaming company, for Zimpler, and most importantly for the end-user. For Zimpler, nudging our users to spend only what they want and can spend is crucial.

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

“Whilst people are afraid of what they don’t know, they trust people that they do know, and people can’t help rooting for the underdog”

Our position in the market also brings opportunity;

client feedback. We’ll never overcharge, and we always

an opportunity to provide not only a smooth payment

want both parties to be doing good business.

solution, but also a platform to lend a hand when it comes to customers’ financial struggle. And I strongly believe that if the fintech industry embraces both their responsibility and opportunity, they will be rewarded with happier users and low retention cost.

WHAT CAN YOUR USERS EXPECT IN 2019 AND BEYOND? DOES ZIMPLER HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING IN THE PIPELINE? 2019 is going to be amazing! I left a role I loved at a

WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS THAT GO INTO

stock listed company at the top of its sector to take a

MAKING ZIMPLER A COMPANY THAT STANDS OUT

chance on Zimpler and even though it’s only been a few

FROM THE CROWD?

months, I already know this was the right choice.

Being a David in a sector dominated by Goliaths is a

Right now, we are fully focused on testing and improving

great starting point. Whilst people are afraid of what they

our product in Sweden. We want it to be the easy

don’t know, they trust people that they do know, and

choice for clients, rather than the calculated risk, so

people can’t help rooting for the underdog. If you have

we’re concentrating on getting to that point. Once we

treated people well in the past, you get through the door

are confident in that market we’ll move into other, high

to have the chance to tell them about your product and

demand markets.

make your case.

We’ll not necessarily be following in our competitor’s

We really want people to see that we care about the

footsteps when it comes to new countries, so we’re

long term. I had this focus at Catena Media, and I bring it

hoping we’ll soon be able to offer something that no one

with me to Zimpler. We’ll upgrade our product based on

else can.

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Videoslots

BEEN LOOKING FOR? FOR MORE INFO VISIT: www.videoslotscareers.com

Gambling can be addictive, play responsibly. Videoslots.com is operated by Videoslots Ltd, a company registered in Malta having registration number C 49090. Panda Media Ltd is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority under licence number MGA/CL1/956/2014, MGA/CL1/1048/2014, MGA/CL1/1047/2014, MGA/CL1/1091/2015, MGA/CL1/1261/2016 and MGA/CL1/1262/2016 and the Gambling Commission in United Kingdom under licence number 000-039380-R-319311-007. The facilities provided to UK players is solely made in reliance on the latter licence.


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EXPO

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NETWORKING EVENTS

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CLOSING NIGHT


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REGULATORY CONFERENCE

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BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE

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PAYMENTS CONFERENCE

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AFFILIATES & CMOS CONFERENCE

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DGAMING CONFERENCE

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DAILY FANTASY SPORTS CONFERENCE

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Gambling on the block GAMBLING AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR HAVE ACCOMPANIED EACH OTHER SINCE THE BEGINNING OF INTELLIGENT HISTORY. WHILE THIS MIGHT SEEM PARADOXICAL TO SOME, IT’S UNDENIABLE THAT WITH EACH NEW TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT COME NEW WAYS OF LEVERAGING THIS TENDENCY IN FAIR-MINDED BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP. IN THIS PIECE, CHRISTOPHER ATTARD COVERS THE LATEST DIGITAL TRENDS THAT ARE SHAPING THIS LANDSCAPE, INITIATIVES BY RELEVANT AUTHORITIES IN THE SPACE AS WELL AS THE NEW KEY BLOCKCHAIN PLAYERS THAT HAVE TAKEN THE GAMBLING WORLD BY STORM. BY CHRISTOPHER ATTARD

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Opinion

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

As you might have heard, blockchain presents a rare instance,

However, for digital businesses and operators, blockchain is

like in-game real-time betting, where the term readily applies.

more than a payment solution. From the onset of iGaming in

And while some have already taken a deep dive into the idea,

the 90s, when companies raised capital by acquiring shell

many consumers and entrepreneurs have yet to understand

companies listed on small exchanges, the industry has now

the basics.

found nuanced ways of tapping into startup capital. This is where ICOs, STOs and the more recent IEOs come in. In broad

Put simply, the blockchain is a digital database that serves

terms, these are blockchain-based tokens to the open market

as a ledger across a peer-to-peer network of computers. It

which encapsulate the above idea.

constantly creates a set of records or blocks, each containing details of a time-stamped transaction with data linked to the prior block. Every transaction is verified across the network by “miners” using ASIC computers. With respect to the iGaming scene, players are accustomed to passing their data and transactions through centralised channels, payment processors and banks. With blockchains, that data flows from peer-to-peer without ever going through

“Bitcoin had unprecedented utility in the gaming industry, which has always been plagued with payment challenges”

central authorities. THE ONSET OF DIGITAL MONEY

Today, gambling ICOs are commonplace, with Business Insider reporting last year that the industry raised more capital via

In the beginning, blockchain came about as a cryptocurrency,

tokens than any other industry. For example, Game Credits,

with Bitcoin being the first and biggest solution available

which aims to become a universal currency for gamers took

to the public. In itself, Bitcoin had unprecedented utility in

the lions share at $106 million. Meanwhile, Mediarex Enterprise

the gaming industry, which has always been plagued with

topped out at $65 million in 2017. Based in Malta, ChilliZ-run

payment challenges. As with all innovations in the space, early

Mediarex empowers fans to crowd-manage sports and eSports

adopters took the form of offshore betting sites, with larger

organisations and is set to shake things up in both the iGaming

highly regulated services like William Hill and Paddy Power

and eSports sectors. Notably, most of these funds were raised

eventually vying for regulatory approval.

by retail accumulators and not specific venture capitalists.

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POWERFUL PLATFORMS ENTER THE FRAY Beyond blockchain technology’s utility as a means of funding, online gaming sites are now offering their services entirely through blockchain platforms. For example, the DAO.Casino protocol is set to replace “traditional” centralised online casinos with gambling systems based on a collaboration of multiple parties. In fact, the Casino is expected to release its testnet 2.0 by the end of the second quarter of 2019, where it will implement its governance system and begin its transition towards auditing and its main net release in the third quarter. Payouts would be in DAO.casino’s native Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, which hit the open market in June 2017. The nuance here is the ability to execute random number generation via fully decentralised platforms, with transactions on the blockchain being completely visible to other parties in the network – i.e. verifiable and auditable. In addition, all blockchain data transfers are immutable and rely on powerful cryptography that is better than any system known to man. In fact, tampering and human error are almost eliminated in such a system, slashing the prospect of cheaters by orders of magnitude while also cutting out third party fees.

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Naturally, there are downsides to having a whole platform on the blockchain. One such problem is the issue of ownership, whereby a player has nobody to blame on the off chance that s/he gets cheated. And while blockchain mitigates the chances of this happening, it does not entirely eliminate fraud. This is where Malta comes in with its new regulatory proposal to give DAO a legal personality. Several top lawyers from Ganado Advocates have come together to bring this challenging situation down to earth. The consultation document aims to create an ownership structure with a proper ‘legal person’ as a counterparty, which would be conducted in Malta upon satisfaction of a number of requirements.

“The biggest challenges for operators are regulatory, most notably the know-your-customer (KYC) hurdle”


Opinion

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

As expected, controversy will surround such initiatives, but per its demonstrable history, Malta is intent on shaping the industry for other jurisdictions to follow.

“Perhaps the most compelling reason to regulate blockchain gambling is that it will exist regardless of the law” REGULATION TO REMAIN A KEY FACTOR The biggest challenges for operators are regulatory, most notably the know-your-customer (KYC) hurdle. While transactions on a blockchain are transparent, and therefore verifiable, the users are anonymous, and not having information on customers isn’t great from a regulatory standpoint. Preventing money laundering, underage gambling and problem gambling without KYC tools is practically impossible. The challenge here lies in devising regulatory mechanisms that can be implemented or at least channelled towards a decentralised environment. With this in mind, regulators need to figure out the location of equipment used to deliver games, which presents a problem if a random number generation is stored on a decentralised ledger. Even if several network nodes are located, then what happens when the equipment crosses multiple jurisdictions? This then raises a plethora of other questions like: whose laws apply if there is a dispute? How can casinos comply with differing data protection laws? Taken to extremes, the KYC problem presents two possibilities: sandboxed chaos that unapologetically promotes innovation with all its risks, or centralised order which nullifies the point of blockchain but allows for accountability and consumer rights to be upheld. Most likely some sort of semi-decentralised solution will be found, with regulators eventually figuring out how to leverage decentralisation for their own purposes. In fact, real-time auditing and chain analysis will probably be one area regulators will turn to in the near future.

UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM Being a multibillion-dollar industry, gambling is arguably the most compelling reason to regulate blockchain. However, considering how long it took US lawmakers to figure out how to tighten control on online gambling, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Perhaps the most compelling reason to regulate blockchain gambling is that it will exist regardless of the law. Consider how long it took US lawmakers to figure out how to contain online gambling and then consider that prohibition enforcement relies on knowing the sources of funding. This becomes impossible in the decentralised environment. Back in March of 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority published a document called “Guidance on the use of Distributed Ledger Technology and the acceptance of Virtual Currencies through the implementation of a Sandbox Environment”. As part of the sandbox, games hosted by an operator are encouraged to use a distributed ledger to “maintain the transparency and prove the fairness of these games.” The MGA stated: “For the duration of this sandbox, the MGA will accept games that are hosted fully or partially on a blockchain environment, provided that the operator shall ensure that the gaming service is not unduly disrupted by such operational setup.” The guidelines go one to specify how AML procedures ought to work, noting that game operators must plan for “the risks which may arise, or be exacerbated by, the use of cryptocurrencies or custom tokens as a funding method.” More specifically, the authority seeks to form a licensing platform for game developers, which speaks to why they suggest the establishment of standards for accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment, use of digital currency wallets, deposits, and the calculation of exchange rates. Notably, the MGA will accept DLT verification in determining whether a game is undeniably fair and random; concepts which are of extreme importance in iGaming. As with all things, regulators will ultimately have to undergo a balancing act between KYC hurdles and superior technology that assures fairness and efficiency. But in the end, decisions that would otherwise be tough to make will be put on the backburner upon facing the daunting task of law enforcement in this landscape.

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DMAX.TV IS ONE OF MALTA’S MOST DYNAMIC MARKETING AND ONLINE DEVELOPMENT FIRMS. GERALD FENECH SPEAKS TO CEO RAY DE BONO ABOUT THEIR CUTTING-EDGE EMAIL MARKETING SOLUTION, DMAXEPAPER.COM. WITH OVER 25 YEARS OF BUSINESS EXPERIENCE; HAVING DIRECTED BRANDING & IT PROJECTS IN MALTA, GERMANY, GHANA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM, RAY’S CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED THE LIKES OF MICROSOFT, THE EU, COCA-COLA, CTO.INT, AND THE MALTESE GOVERNMENT. NOWADAYS, RAY ALSO SERVES AS A DIRECTOR IN A NUMBER OF MALTESE IT ADVISORY COMPANIES.

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Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

THE MEDIA WORLD IS EXPLODING WITH NEW

supported via your Dmaxepaper.com’s account) to apply

TECHNOLOGIES. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO EMAIL

for a banking service like a home loan, order a credit card

MARKETING?

or register for event participation. Such forms can be set to

Like any entrepreneur, I am always on the lookout for practical and cost efficient means of promoting my

issue automated responses, thanking those people for their time or even inviting them to submit additional data.

business. From networking events to television promotion,

IF I FOLLOW YOU CORRECTLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE

from bill boards to print media adverting, I can say that I’ve

MARKETING LANDSCAPE IS COMPLETELY CHANGED.

tried them all.

SHALL WE SAY ‘WELCOME TO THE EMAIL AGE?

Apart from word-of-mouth, which is the strongest and

Email is but a part of the dynamics of the digital revolution.

cheapest, yet most reliable means of acquiring or

In an increasingly digital world, businesses must harness

recommending new business, I keep finding that email is

the available technologies in order to retain the highest

the next most effective tool for business development. It

return in investment. It is of little use to have a strong, daily

works to help you stay in touch, establish a rapport and

Facebook and Twitter presence, when most of the traffic

maintain business relations over time.

generated by your social media post goes to third-party

All business uses email. This tool is an essential and fundamental part of our daily, business communications,

sites. Irrespective of your business size, you need to create engaging content that can be easily shared.

irrespective if one is a fresh food vendor or a financial advisor. Email delivers. When using the right tools within the boundaries of data protection law, email is an indispensable intelligencegathering tool that helps promote, educate or improve the service of a business over time. Frankly, I cannot see how anyone can do without it. Since smartphones came around, email technology has become omnipresent, enabling us to be reached anytime, and anywhere. The evolution of email to a mass market

“It is of little use to have a strong, daily Facebook and Twitter presence, when most of the traffic generated by your social media post goes to third-party sites”

marketing tool came as no surprise to many in the IT industry. Users need not be IT gurus to start issuing campaigns.

TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DMAXEPAPER.COM’S

They need not spend hours fiddling on the system’s portal

TECHNICAL AND BUSINESS PROWESS…

to design and manage campaigns. If one can use a word processor or run a Facebook account, using Dmaxepaper.com should be an easy ride. Using available and open source solutions, we have developed a sophisticated email solution that can help businesses grow and succeed. This is what Dmaxepaper.com is all about. ARE EMAIL MARKETING SYSTEMS ALL THE SAME?

Dmaxepaper.com is a business-grade email marketing and intelligence-gathering solution designed for business and professional users. It offers users very competitive fees, a trusted and secure infrastructure and the use of the latest smart tracking technologies on the market. Easy-to-follow graphical reports show essential information, such as the number of newsletters that have been read

Far from it. For a start, while other systems use online

by recipients and what links they have clicked on and

ticketing systems, Dmaxepaper.com is a locally-supported

more. The superior array of real-time metrics inbuilt in

service. You have a question – just call us and we support

Dmaxepaper.com makes it one of the leading Permission

you there and then at no charge. Support is included in the

Marketing & Email Intelligence gathering tools around.

annual service fee. There are no limits on the number of contacts or contact lists held. Dmaxepaper.com is a system that is built with businesses in mind. ARE YOU SAYING THAT EMAIL MARKETING WORKS ON

WHERE DOES DMAXEPAPER.COM STAND ON CYBER SECURITY, DATA PROTECTION AND GDPR COMPLIANCE?

ITS OWN?

Over the past 24 months we have invested considerably in

In many respects it does. Dmaxepaper.com is not a mere

the latest security processes around, including end-to-end

email blasting tool. It is much more than that. Integrating an

encryption of data stored in contact lists using the AES256

email system like Dmaxpepaper.com with website forms,

hashing algorithm, User Activity Log providing full trail of

for instance, enables companies to collect structured data

data processing activities by users, and we have introduced

on various subjects by consenting individuals. To give just

a User Authentication & Multi-Factor Login system linked to

a few examples, people can fill in online forms (created and

Google authenticator app.

Dmaxepaper’s security infrastructure. We now have some of

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JUST A COUPLE OF DECADES AGO THE ONLINE GAMBLING WORLD WAS A RELATIVELY UNKNOWN FLEDGLING INDUSTRY, TRYING TO MAKE ITS WAY TO THE TOP. A FEW YEARS INTO ITS YOUTH AND IT WAS PULLING IN THE BILLIONS, LURING THOUSANDS OF STARRY-EYED BUSINESSES TO ITS SIDE WITH ITS GRIT AND DETERMINATION TO SURVIVE. FOR EUROPE HOWEVER, THE BELLE EPOQUE FEELS LIKE IT’S ON THE WAY OUT, AND MANY WOULD ARGUE THAT EUROPEAN MARKETS HAVE BECOME OVER-SATURATED AND ARE STARTING TO LEAK HARD-WON GAINS. BY KATY MICALLEF

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Changing demographics and tightening regulation, while not

Despite their growth, Asian markets still present some

a definitive bellwether of the overall health of the European

challenges for European operators and affiliates to break into.

gambling scene, would suggest that perhaps the continent

Conservative values coupled with traditionalism have long been

may have reached its peak gambling point. High points are

obstacles preventing wider legalisation of gambling across Asia.

so often followed by a dip in fortune; this, coupled with a growing air of anti-gambling sentiment, has provoked caution amongst operators, affiliates and suppliers. Right now Asia is rising as one of the biggest gambling markets globally, and if the upward trajectory continues its meteoric climb, we can expect to see a massive shift eastwards. Land-based casinos are certainly seeing a noticeable change in attitude, as have lotteries and horse racing, with countries like the Philippines more than happy to welcome the tourism and taxes generated. The online sphere has seen somewhat less enthusiasm; however there have been shifts towards more open acceptance in recent years, with change almost certainly on the horizon.

“Right now Asia is rising as one of the biggest gambling markets globally, and if the upward trajectory continues its meteoric climb, we can expect to see a massive shift eastwards”

The different ways in which European markets are structured, as well as the sky rocketing costs of living have undoubtedly played a role, as have cheaper rates and growing populations in Asia. Many younger players in Europe find the cost of playing prohibitive and their appetite for game innovation creates a conundrum for existing operators in addition to a fight for competitive products that millennials are used to.

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Speaking exclusively to SiGMAgazine, Harmen Brenninkmeijer, Managing Partner at Dynamic Partners, a Hong Kong-based gaming consultancy, had some caution for speculators that might turn up for the gold rush, “When you’re used to continuous growth, as the operators have been in

Of course this isn’t to say that profits aren’t still rolling in for

Europe, and the consolidation trend takes over to push the

established European operators, affiliates and suppliers, with

growth, entrepreneurs will always look for new markets to

many still enjoying generous profit margins and high levels

generate that level of growth they have to come to expect.

of acquisition activity. It is the smaller operators who may find

However, Asia is not for the faint hearted. It’s difficult and

extra costs propel them further afield in search of a better deal.

not transparent. One is not protected and there is a fine


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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

line to run proper operations that build value versus those

Overall as the Chinese get used to playing more,

that are just after cash flow. Africa and Latin America offer

gambling will be more a part of their day-to-day activities.

better opportunities currently if you want to show growth and

Subsequently, outlets for this demand will need to be

develop a sellable business. But if one is willing to commit the

created. The products currently offered by either the

proper resources and focus, Asia is bound to become one of

Welfare or Sports Lottery are not enough. Until the Chinese

their biggest markets.”

government regulates a broad spectrum of products more

The global online gambling market is estimated to grow at a rate of 11% between 2018 and 2022, resulting in over $35 billion in incremental growth. What’s particularly telling is that 44% of this growth will come from the APAC region alone.

comprehensively (versus just abolishing activities), the market will find its own way to be self-regulating and will have to deal with all of the risks and characteristics that come with such an approach,” continues Brenninkmeijer. When Macau outstripped the annual gambling revenue of Las

There are several gambling destinations in Asia-Pacific tipped

Vegas back in 2006, it motivated other Asia Pacific countries

for success; Japan will remain a key market to watch in 2019,

to take steps towards legalisation themselves. This has helped

even though the implementation and approval process for

whip up interest in online gambling. In India for example, where

newly drafted laws is moving relatively slowly. The formation

active gambling is prohibited but no laws for online gambling

of an oversight body to manage casino regulation is expected

exist, online opportunities have been plentiful.

to come into effect from July 2019. Harmen Brenninkmeijer agrees that Japan is a market that holds potential, but warns that the barriers to entry can be high, “Asia has enormous diversity in gaming. If you add up the numbers then by far the most successful market is Japan. It’s one of the world’s largest gaming markets with over 4 million Pachinko machines. However the market is hard to enter as IGT and Aristocrat have found out at a tremendous cost over the years.” China is a different beast altogether, it involves a much broader market pattern, making it by far one of the largest

“Companies like SiGMA hope to bridge the gap between continents, bringing Europe closer to Asia, by embracing the best of the iGaming community”

gambling markets globally. Gambling is illegal in mainland China, except for the state-sponsored Chine Sports Lottery, which is out of favour with consumers as it offers very poor returns to players. This has heaped pressure on the government to wield a firm hand over the industry, and in fact, in recent months regulators have started to crack down on corruption attached to online gambling by limiting the number of visas it gives to the mainland Chinese to visit the outside zones such as Macau. SAR, Macau, has long been a hub for gambling, with the area likely to continue to transition into a premium mass market,

“The most successful land-based markets in numbers are Macau, Singapore, South Korea and the Philippines. The picture will change in the years to come with the rise of Japan. However, from a variety of games, suppliers and products, the Philippines is probably the most open and interesting market. That doesn’t mean it’s the largest, but it’s growing at a healthy pace. The online landscape is interesting as things are more fluid. Today the Philippines are still by far the largest market

at least until the terms of China’s deal with the Special

from where operators attract their business. But due to the

Administrative Region comes to an end and China takes on a

complexities and costs of the licence a numbers of operators

more active role in the region.

have relocated, bringing with them labour knowledge and

“Because of the limitations of gaming products offered legally in China, Macau will continue to grow. It’s estimated that 2.9% of the Chinese population have visited Macau, of which most are from the connected provinces. There is a tremendous interest for many more Chinese to travel to Macau but many can’t at all, or are limited by getting a visa limited to one or a few visits. Only when Macau can handle more traffic and it offers a fuller entertainment experience will it be able to get more people and surely the Chinese government will allow for that. Especially as the VIP play will slowly lessen and more mass play will solidify Macau as the entertainment capital of China.

service provision,” said, Brenninkmeijer. Companies like SiGMA hope to build bridges between continents, strengthening bonds between Europe and Asia and making for a more globalised iGaming community. SiGMA’s expansion eastwards brings not only the Asian community closer together but also offers extra value to European suppliers, affiliates and operators. SiGMA hopes to take advantage of the huge interest in Asia with plans to launch SiGMA Manila and the Emirates A.I. and Blockchain Summit in 2020.

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KATY MICALLEF CAUGHT UP WITH THE CEO OF GANAPATI EUROPE HOLDING AND THE HEAD OF BRANDING FOR THE GANAPATI GROUP, JULIET AND NADIA ADELSTEIN, FOR A QUICK LOOK AT HOW THE COMPANY IS BRINGING THE TWO SIDES OF GANAPATI TOGETHER BY BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN ASIA AND EUROPE. YOU HAVE SPENT SEVERAL YEARS IN JAPAN, SPEAK JAPANESE AND HAVE A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF GLOBAL BUSINESS, THAT’S QUITE AN IMPRESSIVE PORTFOLIO. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AND WHAT COMPELLED YOU TO MAKE THIS INDUSTRY YOUR HOME? NADIA: We both grew up learning Japanese from a very young age; we also lived in Japan for 8 years, which allowed us to really become immersed in the culture. I worked for Sony in Japan, doing marketing and while there in my final year was asked to join Ganapati, transferring to their London office to focus on branding and marketing. So, I’ve had a strong background in

JULIET: One big thing I’ve noticed – and it’s not necessarily a demographic thing, but more about how they enjoy the gaming experience – is that what keeps players glued to a particular game is really different. In Asia they love the simpler games, they just want to see the reels turn around and see the credits in there and their winnings go up. Whereas European players, even though they know they don’t have control, they like to feel like they have more control over the end result. Because of that, they want to understand the journey and how they got there a bit more, so they like things to be a little more dramatic, and are happy to go along with more of a slower tensionbuilding speed if the excitement comes along with it.

Japanese culture and marketing, but gaming was a first for me when I joined Ganapati. JULIET: Japan and its language and culture was something that was exposed to us from a very young age, and while it was something that was initially thrust upon us, it later became a passion. We initially moved to Japan for 6 months – 7 years later we were still there. Similarly to Nadia, I ended up leaving Japan to join a large Japanese advertising company called Dentsu, where I worked in their London offices, so obviously we have both been very accustomed to a Japanese way of working and business culture for a long time.

“When it came to the challenge of bridging the gap between Japan and Europe, we already had the mentality, ideas and work ethic to bring the two sides of Ganapati together”

So, when it came to the challenge of bridging the gap between Japan and Europe, we already had the mentality, ideas and work ethic to bring the two sides of Ganapati together. It was important that people felt that we weren’t just a Japanese company that simply existed in Europe. It was a no brainer for me to join Ganapati. The iGaming industry is one I never thought I would be in, but now that I’m here, I don’t think I’ll ever leave. HOW DO THE EUROPEAN AND ASIAN GAMING MARKETS DIFFER, ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF PLAYER DEMOGRAPHICS? NADIA: One thing I’ve learnt is that in Asia a lot more females are starting to play as well. On top of this, there is a difference in the types of games they play and the different speeds they play at. In recent years, the European market has become obsessed with Japanese themes and designs, which is why our games are so successful – European players really love the fine art and Manga style Japanese artwork. This has really helped our designs reach over into the European market.

HOW WELL DO SLOTS TRANSFER TO THE ASIAN MARKETS CONSIDERING THAT THEY ARE RELATIVELY NEW TO THE REGION? JULIET: Two things that certainly aren’t new to Asia are gambling and gaming. In fact, they’ve been two key industries across Asia for a very long time. It’s usually the traditional forms of gambling such as baccarat that have been of interest to them up until now. That being said, whilst they’ve been a bit slow on the uptake, the interest is undeniable and I think that comes from having gaming itself embedded in the culture, something they’ve grown up with and have been aware of from a very young age. What has happened is that, whilst they were slower than Europe to start producing slot games, they are overtaking European companies now in the creation of new styles of slot games and different forms of online gaming betting formats. They’re definitely moving from traditional slot games to something closer to traditional gaming. I would say they’re now leading the race.

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NADIA: Especially if you look at things like “fish games” – they came from the traditional arcade games but are now one of the most popular types of game in the Asian online casino markets. The European market, on the other hand, will stick with the original slot game style, with more of a focus on the different types of bonuses and features. DO YOU AGREE THAT EUROPE IS FAST APPROACHING SATURATION POINT, PUSHING EUROPEAN SUPPLIERS, OPERATORS AND AFFILIATES TO HEAD EAST? JULIET: To be honest, no matter how saturated the European market becomes, or how much further growth and power we see in the numbers in Asia, a company’s status within Asia is generally measured by its success in the European market. So, leaving aside the issue of whether Europe has become saturated or not, to succeed in Asia you have to succeed in Europe. The journey has to be parallel. The success a company has in Europe more often than not reflects the success a company will have in Asia, just because the Asian markets are so heavily influenced by trends in Europe. NADIA: I also think that works the other way around as well. Coming from Asia we’ve got something that the European market doesn’t currently have. There are very few people making Asian style games with authentic artwork – our games are quite different, allowing us to stand out from the crowd. WHAT DOES GANAPATI LOOK FOR WHEN IT COMES TO ACQUIRING NEW TALENT? IS HAVING THE RIGHT HIRING STRATEGY CRUCIAL TO LONGTERM SUCCESS? NADIA: We really pride ourselves on looking after the team we work with. Neither of us came from the iGaming industry, but we’ve got special skills in other areas, skills that almost can’t be taught. One thing our company really focuses on is having a family that will grow with us as the company expands. We’re all one company and one team and we all look after each other. A lot of members haven’t come to us in the typical way, and we pride ourselves on that, on bringing something different to the industry. We want to do things in a completely new way, with new eyes and new trains of thought.

“The success a company has in Europe more often than not reflects the success a company will have in Asia”

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JULIET: It’s important for us to have people in leadership positions that come from different industries. There are a lot of people doing a whole lot of the same stuff in this industry and we don’t want to do that. That being said, what is also extremely important to us is that these decision makers and people coming up with the creative ideas are backed up by experienced people around them. In that way, we also have the industry experience, knowledge


ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Q&A

and substance to turn our ideas into reality, so we’re able to move ahead in the industry. TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR NEW FLAGSHIP GAME – NEO TOKYO. JULIET: Neo Toyko is our baby, it’s our 2019 flagship game. The development team worked really hard on this, and it is a true reflection of us as a company. Firstly, our authentic Japanese design and creatives were created by our team in Japan who have come from ex gaming backgrounds and produce our iconic Japanese aesthetic. This was then combined with the mathematics and algorithms from our development team in Estonia. It’s the perfect collaboration and representation of Ganapati – the coming together of Asia and Europe into one perfect team. NADIA: We really do think we’ve created something different, and the reaction we’re getting from people is already very positive. Everything from the music, the storyline, the player experience and the different features and capabilities of the game are making people realise that this is what Ganapati is about and this is what we’re bringing to the table. JULIET: Even the layout is quite unique, with its hexagonal tiles which form a honeycomb pattern, rather than the standard rectangle. It’s got a genuine storyline behind it which is revealed throughout the game in video clips so you can really connect with it. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT FOR GANAPATI THIS YEAR? NADIA: It’s been a year since we went live and we’ve come along leaps and bounds, with new games coming out every month. Then on top of all this we’ve got G8C, our blockchain project. Juliet and I have been travelling the world for the last few months at roadshows for the blockchain industry. In iGaming, everyone is talking about blockchain, but in the blockchain world no one is talking about iGaming yet, so it’s really great to be a part of getting the iGaming name out there. JULIET: Well, I got to start working in the same company as my little sister, which has been just wonderful. As Nadia said, we’re now no longer just a slot game provider but also building a blockchain platform. On the iGaming side, we’re now in a very different position. Last year it was all about creating new relationships, but now we’ve got our name out there, we’re connected to the people we want to be connected to and it’s about building on those

“In the blockchain world no one is talking about iGaming yet, so it’s really great to be a part of getting the iGaming name out there”

relationships – about taking everything we’ve been talking about for the past two years and turning it into something concrete that’s delivering actual results.

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The Innovation Game AS WITH ANY INDUSTRY, THE IGAMING SECTOR MUST ADAPT AND INNOVATE IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN GROWTH AND INTEREST FROM NEW DEMOGRAPHICS AND MARKETS. JULIAN MOORE LOOKS AT THE PLETHORA OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT EMERGING TECHNOLOGY OFFERS THE INDUSTRY AND HOW TO KEEP THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION INTERESTED.

Central to success in the iGaming industry is keeping the players coming back for more, as trends and favourites wax and wane like the cycles of the moon. In the first few years of the new millennium, it was online poker that enjoyed its day in the sun, occupying centre stage for a good few years in the broad offering from online gambling providers. Before that, bingo tried its hand, with limited success, to grab the attention of a more female market, and lately we’ve seen eSports touted as the next big thing - a prediction that has still not yet proved to be a good bet. As an online market that relies entirely upon technology to provide services for its customers, the iGaming sector must constantly evolve to remain relevant to target audiences. Keeping up with the latest innovations made possible by both new software and hardware capabilities is key to carving out a space for iGaming success regardless of the audience. Sports betting has been a sector in the spotlight over recent years, with in-play bets and the speed of odds offerings

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through algorithms creating a market-leading online gambling option for an always-connected mobile generation. Just look at the adverts you see for online gambling on tv these days - it’s mostly sports betting related. Daily fantasy sports has taken this one step further to offer a fast-paced alternative to season-long sports betting, with its success more prolific in the US where it’s been allowed to operate as a skill-based game and therefore not subject to the United States’ prohibitive iGaming legal framework. It’s the perfect example of the industry adapting to changes in environment and enabling new forms of gambling as a result. In turn, DFS has led to new avenues being explored by more global iGaming companies, combining technology and player demands to create virtual games which can be played anytime, anywhere, on any device. Virtual games have borrowed technology from the videogames industry to present players with visually realistic sports events across football, horse-racing, motorsport, and many more. With a randomly


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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

pre-determined outcome, such games offer excitement and engagement for players 24/7, and virtual games are an area of iGaming which are currently gaining momentum. For other parts of the iGaming industry to realise similar successes with new products, the mobile-first approach must be combined with new technologies and new formats to create player experiences that fit in with the fast-paced life of today.

iGaming industry, with small, inexpensive chances to play which add up to huge revenue opportunities across a wider demographic. It’s a good example of how new generations (don’t mention the M word) might be more enthused to look at gambling in a new light, after turning their backs on online casinos as well as the land-based ones. In a few years, it’s easy to believe that on the face of it, online gambling will look nothing like what we see today, but for the centuries old sports betting market.

“As an online market that relies entirely upon technology to provide services for its customers, the iGaming sector must constantly evolve”

Beyond game formats, we’ll also start to see new technologies enabling innovative gambling platforms, with augmented reality being another yet unrealised iGaming trend waiting to be literally tapped into on a device in the palm of your hand. Imagine playing geo-located slots on the facade of a building, or other real world locations. The possibility to combine the real world with the digital presents a universe of new ways to play games and set wagers and challenges. Most exciting though, is that we’re still just talking about the technology that exists today, and we all know how quickly

Social games and casual games are more snackable attention-grabbers for iGaming companies to remain front and centre on players mobile phones, if only for a short time during the daily commute. Simple games like peer-to-peer tic-tac-toe could be the new penny shares for the future

that train is rolling! In ten years time we’ll all be wearing iContacts, with built in AR that overlays 3D graphics on the real world in smart vision! The winners of the 2030s in iGaming will be those who innovated in the 2020s, so get dreaming now, and make the future a reality!

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Regulating the industry REGULATORY ISSUES IN 2019 ARE SET TO DEFINE THE LONG-TERM FUTURE AND SHAPE THE WAY IGAMING TAKES HOLD OF BOTH ESTABLISHED AND UP-ANDCOMING GAMBLING MARKETS. GONE ARE THE DAYS WHERE OPERATORS HAD FREE REIN, PUBLIC AND POLITICAL CONCERN MEANS REGULATORS ARE NOW REELING IN LOOSE CANNONS AND GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT PLAYER PROTECTION.

sweden Sweden is currently a fully-regulated market after Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen opened the country’s iGaming market to gambling operators. Regulation came into effect as of January 1st, with all operators wishing to service Swedish residents required to acquiesce a licence to do so. Much of the success behind its smooth initiation has stemmed from a selfexclusion system, which has signed-up over 20,000 individuals, a tough, nononsense approach on non-compliance and a gritty response to an attempt by Sweden’s football federation to have sports betting licences suspended.

uk The UK Gambling Commission introduced tighter regulation for online gaming firms, in a bid to try to make gambling safer and fairer. The new rules came into force on 7th May. The regulation has been half a decade in the making and aims to turn the traditional process of age verification, where authentication doesn’t occur until the withdrawal stage, on its head. The new rules will mean that operators will need to confirm customers age and identity faster than the 72 hours previously allowed, the result of which will be that unverified gamblers will be unable to deposit funds or place bets, including free bets and bonuses. The Commission believes that will help stop problem gamblers circumventing exclusion systems, as well as further limit the risk of children gambling. The new rules will also make collecting winnings fairer and more transparent, a move that comes in the wake of complaints that winners were being unfairly asked for additional information when attempting to withdraw winnings.

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netherlands After much delay and debate, the upper house of the Netherlands legislature, the Senate, has finally passed the Remote Gaming Act, paving the way for iGaming regulation in the country. The new act clears the way for foreign and local firms to apply for licences, opening online gambling up to a wider audience. The legislation, which was first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2014, was initially thought to be in jeopardy after facing severe criticism in early February. Some 300 companies have since expressed an interest in running a gambling website in the Netherlands and about 50 will likely make a formal request for a licence next year, with licences being issued from mid-2020. Operators will be required to develop responsible gaming strategies to offer solid player protection; however it is thought that operators that have directly steered a course towards the Dutch market may face a two-year blackout period before being eligible for a licence.

malta Malta has approved a new Gaming Act that replaces all existing gaming legislation in the country with a single piece of legislation, supplemented by secondary legislation. The Gaming Act, with directives and regulations, is effective as of 1 August 2018. Through the act, the MGA have also introduced a number of regulatory powers for the regulator, ensuring they are empowered to do their job properly; as such this year will be an implementation year. Following initial talks with operators, the MGA have also published a preliminary Market Consultation Document to request information on projects for a Unified Self-Exclusion System, which will be rolled out across gambling operators, irrespective of channel. Following the 2017 publication of the White Paper to Future Proof Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework, the MGA is now looking to further strengthen the protection afforded to players, especially as a means of prevention of gamblingrelated harm. Efforts in 2019 will focus on international collaboration, there will be a number of MOU’s signed with international regulators - a recent understanding with Swedish regulators, Spelinspektionen, marks an important milestone for the Malta-Sweden relationship.

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germany Private operators can no longer obtain licences in SchleswigHolstein under the existing regime and those in existence will expire by 30 June 2019, although S-H has introduced a transitional licensing regime for sports betting. In the other 15 states, horse race betting licences are available at a regional level but the position surrounding the 20 available sports betting licences is still uncertain. The main legal framework for gambling regulation in Germany has been the subject of much debate and has been heavily criticised by the EC for a number of years. In 2017, a Federal Administrative Court ruling upheld the ban on online casinos and poker. The ruling, which is now the subject of a constitutional complaint, appears to have led to action by local regulators seeking to enforce the prohibition of online casinos by issuing interdiction letters to operators. Payment blocking initiatives are also being pursued. Discussions to reform the existing legislation have not moved forward, although there are certain states which are becoming more aligned to the idea of reformation.

japan Cabinet approval has been given by the Japanese government for a range of key regulations governing the size and scope of the nation’s first integrated resorts. The implementation process started in April 2019, and will now be implemented in phases throughout the year. In order to deal with issues such as money laundering, operators will be required to report information on guests who exchange over JPY1 million (US$9,050) in cash or chips. Another key event to watch for in Japan in 2019 would be the establishment of a casino oversight body, referred to locally as the casino administration committee. Japan’s new body, will be an external bureau of the Cabinet Office, and will most likely oversee casino regulation, including licensing control, probity and background checks, but will not be involved in the day-today vigil of casino operations.

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Feature

us The surprising announcement that the Department of Justice would be readjusting their position on the Wire Act has cast a chilly shadow over the industry. Mounting scrutiny has brought forth a flurry of legal challenges against the opinion, with the Attorneys General of New Jersey and Pennsylvania filing a suit demanding assurances from the Justice department that it will not take action against licensed operators in either state. New Hampshire on the other hand has filed a suit on behalf of the state Lottery Commission, seeking an order that would render the 2019 interpretation void. The DOJ claims that the Act prohibits any form of gambling from being facilitated via interstate transmissions of wire communications. Having initially set a 90 day limit for operators to adhere to the changes, the DOJ has now pushed the mid-April date back another 60 days, which means more time for operators and suppliers to make their products compliant - or to mount a solid defence to overturn the decision. Questions have also been raised about possible interference from anti-gambling lobbyists, such as Sheldon Adelson.

italy Italian authorities rang in the New Year with a gambling tax hike, which launched alongside a much talked about blanket ban on gambling advertising. The ban, which is often referred to as the Dignity Decree was proposed back in 2018 and bans gambling operators from promoting their services through advertising and sponsorship agreements. While existing sponsorship deals will be allowed to run their course, operators will be blocked from renewing the partnerships. Opponents of the decree have suggested that the ban could offer a boon to the black market, and in fact, Google search results for the term ‘online casino’ show 3 unlicensed operations heading the search charts. In early February the country granted concessions for the provision of online gambling services after a long process that was marked by a number of delays. In fact the whole process has been somewhat marred by disappointment - the licensing was originally scheduled for 2017 and the government over-estimated interest, receiving only 8 applications from 70 operators.

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THE ASIAN CONNECTION / NETWORKING ASIA / FOCUS ON ASIA

SiGMA CAUGHT UP WITH JOSEPHINE LEE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF REED EXHIBITIONS GREATER CHINA, TO FIND OUT HOW G2E ASIA IS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF IGAMING IN ASIA.

G2E ASIA IS NOW IN ITS 13TH YEAR - HOW HAS THE

G2E Asia 2018, our most successful edition on record, boasted

EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE PROGRAMME EVOLVED

a 220+ exhibitor showcase, 33,000-sqm interactive show floor

OVER THOSE YEARS?

and 16,358 highly-satisfied visitors. This year’s 13th edition is expected to shatter more records in size, and attendance with

G2E Asia’s reputation and influence is the result of more than a decade of hard work and dedication of its show teams, together with our media partners and strong industry-wide support. We are proud to say that G2E Asia is now the largest event of its kind in Asia. With each passing edition it has grown into a hub for local and global gaming-entertainment industry professionals. It is a trusted source for the most cutting-edge products

our new bi-level exhibition space and a projected 18,000 visitors. G2E Asia’s continually upward path reflects the vigorous expansion of gaming-entertainment throughout the region and abroad, including its ever-expanding segment offerings that evolve alongside market needs. 2019 will see the return of industry segments Digital Content & Technology, Parts & Components Pavilion, Integrated Resorts Technology & Business

and technologies in the field, and the must-attend event for

Solutions, Game Development Zone and the Asia Lottery Expo

conducting business and networking, while staying up-to-date

and Forum, while welcoming our newest additions, eSports

on the latest trends, policies, and market intelligence.

Connect Asia, Financial Technology Asia and Artbiz Asia.

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News & analysis for the global iGaming industry

CASINO SPORTS BETTING

BINGO LOTTERY POKER

CRYPTOCURRENCY ESPORTS

PAYMENT SYSTEMS

Tomorrow’s world. Today. To advertise, contact John Sullivan via email: jsullivan@gbmedia.eu or phone: +44 (0) 1257 277 400

igamingtimes.com


Q&A

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

G2E ASIA’S 2018 EDITION BOASTED ITS STRONGEST NUMBERS EVER. HOW MANY VISITORS DO YOU EXPECT AT G2E ASIA 2019 AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY TREND DEVELOPING FROM A GEOGRAPHICAL ATTENDEE STANDPOINT. I’m proud to say that G2E Asia gets bigger and better with each edition. The last few years, in particular, have experienced staggering growth. G2E Asia 2018 was our most record-breaking edition with 16,358 visitors, at an annual increase of 17%. Satisfaction levels were also in high numbers, where the 2018 G2E Asia Survey reported 80% of visitors “likely to return”. In addition to a 74% international-visitor representation, the show continues to broaden its regional appeal with significantly increased visitor numbers from Southeast Asia. G2E Asia continues on an exciting upward path. WHAT’S NEW FOR G2E ASIA 2019? There’s always something exciting and new with each G2E Asia edition. Users of the G2E Asia Mobile App will enjoy an even more comprehensive digital experience with the app’s Lead Generation Scanner’s enhanced feature functions, together with the New Product Hot Hits. WHAT IS NEW FOR THE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME FOR 2019?

Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China, was born in Hong Kong and has been working in the exhibition industry for 20 years. Since joining Reed in 1998, she has distinguished herself by winning four major awards - the Export Division President Award (2000); the Reed Chairman’s Award (2001 & 2009) and the Reed China President’s Award (2005). Her dynamic leadership has also seen her spearhead the restructuring of the Export Division in Australia; develop outbound business in Asia and establish Reed offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen (in 2002, 2003 and 2012 respectively). Today, in addition to Sales and Marketing responsibilities, she will oversee Reed Greater China’s entire portfolio of events, as well as the Operations Team.

Each year, G2E Asia’s concurrently-held conference program presents an exciting agenda of the most comprehensive and pressing themes in Asian gaming-entertainment. This year will be no exception, featuring three full days of content-rich and informative conferences and forums led by a line-up of highly influential leaders, influencers and experts in the field. Additional offerings will expand on highly-relevant industry themes including: Asian Markets Perspectives: Opportunities And Threats; From Gaming To Beyond Gaming; Technology and Games; IAGA Best Practices Institute; eSports Connect Asia Forum; Financial Technology Asia Forum; Artbiz Asia Forum CAN YOU PROVIDE US EXAMPLES OF KEY NOTE SPEAKERS AT THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE? G2E Asia 2019 Conference is an exclusive opportunity to engage with like-minded professionals. Keynotes this year include: Ms. Daisy Ho, Chairman and Executive Director of SJM Holdings Limited; Mr. Paulo Martins Chan, Director of Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau of the Macau SAR Government.

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BY CHRISTOPHER ATTARD

Making sense: The Bitcoin SV saga


110001111000 10001100101011101 1100010001100101011101000101010100 110001111000100011001010111010001010101001 100 SPRING SUMMER Feature 10001100ISSUE 101 111/ 0 1002019 01010101001000100 11000100011001010111010001010 110001111000100011001010111010001010101001000100011100011 1000110010101110100010101010010001000111 1100010001100101011101000 110001111000100 1000110010101110100010101010010001000111000111010 110001000110010101110100010101010010001 1100011110001000110010101110100010 1000110010101110100010101010 11000100011001010111010001010101001000100011100011101010 1100011110001000110010101110100010101010010001000 100011001010111010001010101001000100011 THE BITCOIN SATOSHI’S VISION CREATOR CRAIG WRIGHT 11000100011001010111010AS 00 SCREECHES FROM THE HEAVENS “I AM SATOSHI NAKOMOTO”, 110001111000100011 THE SV GATHERS NEW ENTRANTS IN A GROWING 100011001010111010001010 10BTC 100 1SAGA 0001 0 11000100011001010111010KERFUFFLE 0010101 OF CLASHING AGENDAS WHICH STAND IN STARK 11000111100010001100101CONTRAST 0 TO A GRANDER NARRATIVE. 10001100101011101000101010100100010001110 110001000110010101110100010101010010 1100011110001000110010101110100010101010010001000111000111010 1000110010101110100010101010010001000111000111 1100010001100101011 secret many the CRAIG WRIGHT AND HIS INTERNAL 11000111100010001100101Indeed, 011it’s 1no 01 00that 01 01in0 101 cryptocurrency space believe Craig Wright INCONSISTENCIES 100011001010111010001010101001000 is a fraud and they’ve been very vocal about 1100010001100101011101 In one meandering online post on Medium, online. you remember, the 11000111100010001100101it0 11As 10 1might 000 1010 1online 01 S. Wright made some bold yet drama surrounded Hodlonaut - an 100011001010111010001010 10that 10 01000 1000 111000Craig 111 0101 predictable claims. He said: “Many people Norwegian 11000100011001010111010anonymous 00101 010 Twitter persona in the bucket shop, 11000111100010001100101triggered 0111 0ire 1of 0Wright 001 01 01Ayre’s 01001000100 01sorry, 11‘crypto 00 currency the and Calvin exchange’ industry want to see me gone. […] 1000110010101 lawyers who demanded a public apology You’re about to find out why I created bitcoin 11000100011001010111010for 0“highly 010defamatory 10101 0abusive 0100 01000 and tweets”, and yes I am Satoshi Nakamoto.” 11000111100010001100101among other things. 11000100011001010111010001010101001000 Given the clear community sentiment, OUT THE POPCORN 11000111100010001100101BRING 011 Craig’s words are most definitely an 1000110010101110100010101010010001000111 The situation escalated even further understatement, 1100010001100101011101000101010100100010001 110001with people from all when Wright offered a $5,000 bounty for corners of the cryptocurrency industry 110001111000 information that would lead to the location having wished for Craig Wright to ebb from 10001100101011101 of the online persona. Long story short and existence for a long time. Oddly enough, 1100010001100101011101000101010100 Hodlonaut’s true identity was found out, Craig had previously gone into hiding - that 110001111000100011001010111010001010101001 yet in a Spartacus-inspired turn of events, is until the advent of Bitcoin Cash fork in 100011001010111010001010101001000100 crypto began replicating 2017. He became even more relevant when 11000100011001010111010the 00 10community 10 11000111100010001100101Hodlonaut’s 01110 100 01 0accounts 1010as10010 001 001 1alongside 1000Calvin 11 identity with new Bitcoin SV0 forked, and 100011001010111010001010 101of0support. 010Several 001articles 000and 111 a means Ayre, he became the de facto leader of an 11000100011001010111010dramatic 00 exchanges later led to the CEO even smaller fraction of Bitcoin believers. 110001111000100 of Binance, Changpeng Zhao threatening 100011001010111010001010 1eventually 0100de-listing 1000Bitcoin 100 0from 111000After 11tirelessly 1010re-asserting his identity as and SV the real Nakamoto, Wright also declared 11000100011001010111010the 00 10101exchange. 01001 0001 cryptocurrency Changpeng his pro-government, anti-money laundering 11000111100010001100101said: 01“To 1be 10 10 00choose 10 sides on clear, I don’t 100011001010111010001010 1010We let the market do that. I am and pro-bank stance, which at least in technology. 11000100011001010111010against 001fraud, 010 10100100010001 11 00 011 01of0most 10in the part goes against the1spirit such as lying to be someone. 1100011110001000110010101110100010101010010 0 0 1 0 0 0 cryptocurrency community. In fact, it’s As such, it is my strong opinion that: Craig 100011001010111010001010101001000100011 fair to say that the majority of enthusiasts Wright is fraud.” 1100010001100101011101000 in the space believe these entities 110001111000100011 The high stakes, heated debate eventually shouldn’t exist at all as they stand in direct 100011001010111010001010 101 0de-listing 1000 0 SV from resulted in0 the of 1 Bitcoin opposition to the hegemony of the fiat 11000100011001010111010the 00 101 01 which will support biggest exchange, banking world. Wright, however, refutes 11000111100010001100101BTC 0 SV withdrawals until July 22nd. It didn’t the notion that Bitcoin was a response to 10001100101011101000101010100100010001110 take long for other exchanges to follow suit, the global financial crises, though he does 110001000110010101110100010101010010 with Kraken Exchange also following the not comment on the cryptic headline on 1100011110001000110010101110100010101010010001000111000111010 democratic will of its user-base who voted to the genesis block that points to an article 1000110010101110100010101010010001000111000111 delist the coin, largely because of the toxic from the Times about bank bailouts - mere 1100010001100101011 environment that surrounds it. coincidence perhaps? 110001111000100011001010111010001010101 100011001010111010001010101001000 1100010001100101011101 129 110001111000100011001010111010001010101 10001100101011101000101010100100010001110001110101


He wrote: “So, I’m sorry to “burst your little bubble” but

“One thing Bitcoin was created for is to end the manipulation

bitcoin has nothing to do with the collapse of Lehman Bros

of financial systems. This was never what we see in the west

nor with the subsequent bailout. Unfortunately, that was

but rather criminal manipulation. It was designed to ensure

badly timed. The reality is bitcoin is not anti-bank, it is not

that Web Money, Liberty Reserve and a group of criminals

anti-government and in fact it is not even anti-central bank.

associated with things such as the Russian Business Network

Most importantly, it can’t be made to be.”

(RBN) were the real target. In 2007, the RBN had a number

According to this reasoning or lack thereof, Bitcoin is merely a speculative financial instrument that exists in a world where everyone universally trusts their financial institutions.

of ISPs pull the plug. Others such as RX Ltd Trading had a bit longer. They survived because of the growth of Liberty Reserve and associated money-laundering organisations. Bitcoin was created as a means to ensure an immutable audit

the minds of all those affected by it, with many still getting

trail. In time, this will be linked to logins and much more. To

their lives together in its wake. Wright posits that at its core,

start, it provides an anti-money-laundering trail that cannot be

Bitcoin is merely an accountability ledger - a means to keep

altered. This is enough to ensure privacy while also ensuring

everyone on the straight and narrow.

that anonymity cannot exist.”

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Unfortunately for Craig, the global financial crisis is fresh in


Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

SATOSHI NAKAMOTO’S STANCE ON LIBERTY

country – making lawsuits difficult. However, I traced his

RESERVE

assets to other countries. I will bankrupt him.”

However, there is a problem with this post due to

As the movement against Craig Wright’s BSV gained

its direct contradiction with an old Bitcoin talk post

momentum, McAfee then went on to claim to know the

by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2010. In contrast to

identity of Satoshi. He said: “I protected the identity

the above, Satoshi had actually floated the idea of

of Satoshi. It’s time, though, that this be put to bed.

integration with Liberty Reserve:

Imposters claim to be him, we are spending time and

“[Liberty Reserve] and Pecunix have many established exchanges to paper currencies by various payment methods, and a number of vendors accept them as

energy in search of him - it’s a waste. Every day I will narrow down the identity of Satoshi until he reveals himself, or I reveal him.”

payment, so an exchange link between Bitcoin and LR/Pecunix would give us 2nd-hop access to all that. The possibility to cash out through them would help support the value of bitcoins.” For the layman out there, Liberty Reserve was formerly a company based in Costa Rica that allowed people to send and receive secure payments without revealing their account numbers or real identities. Putting two plus two together; if Satoshi Nakamoto via Craig Wright invented bitcoin as a means to “ensure

“The majority of enthusiasts in the space believe these entities shouldn’t exist at all as they stand in direct opposition to the hegemony of the fiat banking world”

that” Liberty Reserve would come to an end, then why did the real Satoshi posit a potential integration? Simple, he believed this would bolster liquidity and that both networks could naturally complement each other. It’s not at all surprising that Craig Wright has yet again mischaracterised Satoshi’s views. He previously said that Satoshi’s reference to Adam Back was referenced

A SOBERING AFTERTHOUGHT Regardless of the veracity of these statements, Changpeng Zhao has some sobering words for anyone who thinks Craig told the truth: “The real Satoshi can digitally sign any message to prove it. This is as simple as breathing for him/her. And we have the public key.

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soon. However, his all-but-nonexistent credibility might

JOHN MCAFEE ENTERS THE FRAY

flung himself into the mix of the evolving quagmire. The crypto-proponent and US presidential candidate hit back against Calvin Ayre to reignite an old rivalry while

irreconcilable philosophical differences between

his claims and Satoshi’s white paper, as well as the

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mean he doesn’t really need to. Indeed, the drastic

emphasis on petty political squabbles over DLT

technological advancement, isn’t doing anyone in the Bitcoin SV camp any favours. Each new rambling post

After weeks of threats and lawsuits from the Bitcoin

fundamental narrative first posited by Satoshi.

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claiming to know the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

the quasi-crypto-industry godfather struck back with defamation lawsuits of his own, claiming that Calvin

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disagreements, dramaticised witch hunts and spiteful assertions only serve to give fuel to his critics’ fire. At

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Ayre, who is also the founder of the mining firm

In addition, the toxic atmosphere cultivated by bad faith

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about the “true satoshi vision” stands in contrast to the

the end of the day, it’s likely that this house of cards

CoinGeek, accused him of committing murder.

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won’t hold for long. Future generations will look back at

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He said: “CoinRivet sued by Calvin Ayre. I’m suing

these squabbles and think them not more than a slight

Calvin for $800 mil. Calvin stated that I committed

misstep in a much grander narrative that altered the

murder. Completely unsubstantiable. Cuba is a Civil Law

very perception of what is and isn’t valuable.

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ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

SiGMA

SiGMA GROUP NEW FACES GOING PLACES SINCE THE FIRST SiGMA EXPO IN 2014, THE COMPANY HAS GROWN RAPIDLY. NOW WITH THREE SEPARATE VERTICAL EVENTS SET FOR 2019, THE NEWLY ANOINTED SiGMA GROUP HAS A FRESH C-LEVEL STRUCTURE IN PLACE, AS FOUNDER EMAN PULIS GETS SET TO RELOCATE BETWEEN DUBAI AND MANILA TO MANAGE THE GLOBAL ROLLOUT OF THE COMPANY. WE DELVE INTO THE DETAILS WITH EACH OF THE MANAGEMENT TEAM.

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How will my role change? Well from being the Malta CEO, I’m now the group CEO, and I’m going to have a great team of C-level executives that can run the show in every jurisdiction. WHAT’S THE PLAN OF ACTION FOR SiGMA OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS? We had an interesting discussion internally, and we understand that other events companies like SBC and Clarion are all heading west with their new events. So instead of creating more of the same, we decided to complement what they’re doing, by looking east. As a result we’re launching another big show in Asia, similar to the one we have in Malta. There’s a huge interest in Asia, especially in certain markets like India, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan - those are very good converting markets for for iGaming, Blockchain or esports. With that in mind we feel that the Philippines, Manila, could potentially replicate what we have achieved in Malta for Europe, so this is the plan for SiGMA moving forward. There’s not going to be just one big show a year, but there’s going to be two shows per year - one in Europe, one in Asia, six months apart. What is the vision? We do not just want to react to what’s going on out there, but we want to take an active, leading role in not only bringing the Asian community together, but to give extra value to our clients from Europe, be it suppliers, be it operators, be it affiliates. And this is what we’re telling them - we’re saying: listen, we’re replicating the success formula we had in Malta in Asia - let’s go together, let’s learn together, and let’s conquer a number of clients together. So we want to bring Europe closer to Asia. That’s making the regulator in the Philippines very happy, so PAGCOR, which is in several ways, similar to what the Malta Gaming Authority does in Malta, were very happy that we brought a number of international clients to Malta because

EMAN PULIS, FOUNDER AND GROUP CEO

of SiGMA. The ecosystem in Malta is also flourishing thanks in part to our small efforts, the government in the Philippines, and PAGCOR, seem very, very happy, very excited that we are bringing the European community towards them. And we’re going to help put the spotlight on the Philippines, embracing the best of the iGaming community, with the hope that these

YOU’LL BE PERMANENTLY MOVING TO DUBAI IN Q2, HOW WILL YOUR ROLE CHANGE? I have always been a start-up romantic, and it feels like only yesterday that we had begun this journey, things are taking shape rapidly and the growth of the company has been astounding so far. Sometimes it has been a struggle to adapt at the same fast-paced rate as the company, so until recently we were still acting as if we were a start-up. We had to adapt swiftly to become more corporate without losing our identity, something we have just achieved recently, with the show becoming much bigger than it used to be. The first challenge is already upon us, as we go from having one main office in Malta to several in core locations abroad. It’s time to spread our wings overseas, so we’re opening offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, and in Manila. That requires my full attention, which is why I’ll be primarily based in Dubai.

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companies that we bring there will end up setting up offices and getting a licence in the Philippines. SiGMA IS OPENING NEW OFFICES IN MANILA, HONG KONG AND DUBAI – WHAT DO THESE MARKETS HAVE TO OFFER? So, we’re opening in Manila for gaming, as well as in Hong Kong and one in Dubai for blockchain. The two verticals are closely related together - when we say blockchain, we mean also A.I., Quantum technology, big data, and Internet of Things. When all these technologies start merging closer and closer to gaming, it places us, an events company, at an unprecedented advantage over the rest, because we are going to know exactly what’s going on in A.I., who the leaders are in that vertical, we’re going to know who the movers and shakers are in A.I. and blockchain and quantum tech, and we’re going to bring those folks closer to gaming as well.


SiGMA

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

WHERE DO YOU SEE SiGMA IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS AND WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR OVERSEAS EXPANSION? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE ACROSS ALL YOUR EVENTS? First of all we need to continue to grow using the winning formula that we have, and ensure from an operational standpoint that a level of quality is constantly upheld. With this strategy we’ll continue our global expansion. Clearly we’ve created very successful shows over the last few years, but even since our first AGS events in Tallinn and Bucharest, we’ve refined our approach to deliver bigger and better shows with each new event, reflected most recently by the massive success enjoyed by our Manila Roadshow event in March. The ripples that spread across the Asian market, with people across the various iGaming jurisdictions in that region talking favourably about us, are a testament to our ability to hit the right note and deliver what our clients are looking for. It’s really helped solidify our position in the Far East, and confirm that our goals for 2020 to set up a show that mimics what we have in Malta and bring the same level of quality to the Asian market. With the global roadshow strategy, we’re introducing what we stand for, and where we believe the future of certain industries will take root and find synergy with other areas that we cover - Manila is the ideal example because it’s a hub for not only iGaming, but also complementary businesses in crypto and blockchain. So we mix a formula of assessing both the geolocations, the two main markets we operate in and then we bring in the key players in these sectors to build opportunities and benefit from each other. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT PROMOTION FROM LOCAL COO TO GROUP COO, WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THIS ROLE? My role as the COO is to ensure a quality list of suppliers, operators, attendees, and anyone else that adds to the mix for success, as well as building relationships with government

OLIVER DE BONO GROUP COO

entities, crucial to the development of new markets, and of course recruiting the right talent in the right locations to make it all happen. such, you’re trying to hire experts where good talent is not Our work in Jersey, with the regulator over there, and with

yet abundant. Additionally, they must be locals because they

PAGCOR in the Philippines, as well as the strong relationship

need to have a grasp on the existing business community and

with the MGA in Malta, are central to the strategy of building

procedures and so on, and on top of that, trying to manage it

relationships to realise new opportunities and lay the

all from overseas adds an extra level of difficulty. So there’s a

groundwork for our clients to benefit from our connections and

plethora of obstacles when it comes to expansion.

expertise - that again is core to my role as COO. From an operational standpoint, when we’re looking for WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FOR THE GROUP IN TERMS

strategic partners in different areas, they in turn become our

OF RECRUITING THE RIGHT TALENT ACROSS SEVERAL

brand ambassadors and hopefully then employees within the

DIFFERENT TERRITORIES - MALTA, THE EMIRATES, AND

organisation. And some of this is trial and error, as there’s no

ASIA? WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS YOU FIND IN EACH OF

other way to navigate untested waters without some form of

THESE TERRITORIES WHEN IT COMES TO RECRUITING THE

risk, so what I’m trying to do is mitigate that risk as much as

RIGHT PEOPLE?

possible. So there are challenges in hiring the right people, creating processes to manage these employees, ensuring that

So firstly you’re going into markets and new jurisdictions where

KPIs are in place to create sustainable deliverables for the

these products and services are relatively unknown, and as

company’s expansion goals.

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Every company has its own way of doing things and it is very difficult to change the culture of your target. And the harder you try, the more resistance you will get. The key is to identify targets that share our values and are run by a strong management team that are also driven by our purpose to exist. The distance can be challenging too, which is why Eman wants to lead the group from a middle ground in Dubai, where he can manage business activities equally in the East and the West. Overall, the future is looking bright for the group and we cannot wait to connect our global audiences under one global iGaming Village banner.

CHRIS GRECH, CM&AO

WHAT SUCCESSES HAS SiGMA SEEN IN THE LAST FEW YEARS AND WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE? SiGMA has grown from a small brand in Malta to one that spans not just Europe, but also reaches further afield, with a large proportion of our clients having a global footprint. Now is the time to take the SiGMA Group to new territories abroad, and this is going to be easier to establish with reputable satellite operations in multiple regions around the globe. WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIC BENEFITS OF ACQUIRING OTHER SHOWS WITHIN A SIMILAR FIELD TO THE EXISTING EVENTS IN ORDER TO STRENGTHEN THE SIGMA GROUP AND BRAND? We are looking for strategic fits which can take us from a brand operated from Malta to a worldwide brand. We have built a powerful platform which it makes it easy to add more shows. Acquisitions will bootstrap our growth ambitions abroad and we are now in a financial position to do so. Through acquisitions, we will acquire skills and consolidate our network. The “guanxi” is an especially powerful force in Asia, which means that you form part of a network - something that takes time to become part of - where you can ask favours and also be trusted with reciprocal favours in return. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN THIS M&A APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO NEW TERRITORIES AND JURISDICTIONS? Culture! I’ve seen acquisitions in the past that turned out way more difficult than we originally thought they would.

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VIKTORIA SOLTESZ, CFO

HOW HAS SiGMA’S RECENT EXPANSION AND SUCCESS LED TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR NEW FINANCIAL PROCEDURES TO ENSURE A SOLID FOUNDATION? AS THE NEW CFO FOR SiGMA GROUP, HOW DO YOU SEE GROWTH STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE ADAPTING THE COMPANY’S FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS AND STRENGTH? From being in a start-up position when I joined the company, the last few months have seen change happening at lightning speed, transitioning us into a more corporate environment which brings huge benefits but also challenges.


SiGMA

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

We have to focus more on the structures and procedures, and we have greater challenges from considerations like the staffing requirements of the business. Even though we have a very healthy cash flow situation, we also need to monitor a great number of accounts receivable, accounts payable. There’s an increased need to manage the company’s finances as it grows to become a global company. From a financial standpoint, there are greater risks inherent with taking a company international, so in order to protect ourselves financially when growing at such pace, we need to stay on top of legislative challenges, from a compliance point of view, and we need to invest more time in company reporting, monitoring all the areas where there might be discrepancies and more room for errors. But now is the right time to ramp up our procedures, and ready the ship for new waters.

YOU’VE RECENTLY JOINED AS CCO FOR THE SiGMA GROUP, SO HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR, AND WHAT DO YOU SEE ON THE HORIZON FOR THE SALES SIDE OF THE BUSINESS? These are indeed exciting times for the company and while there’s been plenty of changes in the company, with new growth, new faces, and new clients to meet and build relationships with, there’s definitely a brighter future for SiGMA Group as we take our events to more international locations. I’m really positive about being appointed to this role and to lead the company to new heights. We’re putting new procedures in place and there are obviously higher targets for this year, with the company moving out east to Asia, and Manila in particular for 2020, as well as looking to grow in the US with great opportunities in New Jersey, so the west is also on our radar.

In this respect, the new territories into which we’re expanding are all financial strong points, which ensures we’re also surrounded by successful businesses - crucial in order to offset risks, by having strong clients who consistently deliver solid revenues for the company. We want to embed ourselves in these cash-rich industries to build the international opportunities on solid ground.

I’ve got extensive experience in various sectors for sales

I’m very happy to be a part of this team as we move forward and help take the company to new heights around the world - it’s exciting times!

feel confident about taking things forward with the sales

growth and meeting commercial objectives, so while I’m new to some elements of this role, the blockchain and cannabiz sectors are each new industries that are still in their nascency themselves. I’ve been working in the blockchain sector for the last twelve months, so I’m quite switched on about blockchain and crypto, and I team and creating new success in all of the industries that we’re focussed on here. ARE THERE ANY CHALLENGES YOU’RE FACING WITH MANAGING SALES TEAMS IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA, CONSIDERING TIMEDIFFERENCES AND CULTURES? Yes, I’m going to be managing the Manila office as the first of our global growth hubs, so that will largely be via regular Skype conference calls, as well as travelling out there, and to our other new territory offices on a quarterly basis. SiGMA 2020 will be a big new challenge as we build our first mega show outside of Malta, so that will be exciting to spearhead in terms of getting clients on board and making the show an international success. The company is growing on a vast scale, with a new c-level team which I’m very proud to be a part of, and I’m really looking forward to taking the company from it’s startup beginnings to a larger international group that operates across broad swathes of the global marketplace. Our whole client journey will be changing as we grow, so we need to put new procedures in place and see how we can improve that client journey from booking to upgrading, to confirming continuous regular event activities for the future, as well as taking advantage

RICK GODDARD, CCO

of what we can now offer businesses across these international sectors. It’s all to play for now, and a great time for me to join the business.

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Beating fraud at its own game A.I. TECHNOLOGY IS TURNING THE TABLES ON MONEY LAUNDERING, FRAUD AND PROBLEM GAMBLERS. WITH REGULATORS CLOSING IN, KATY MICALLEF LOOKS AT HOW MACHINE LEARNING CAN BE A USEFUL TOOL FOR OPERATORS SEEKING TO AVOID PENALTIES AND IMPROVE PLAYER PROTECTION.

No one likes a cheater. The satisfaction of winning is

Identity fraud is also an issue and with 2.2 billion active

infinitely less when rewards come at the expense of unfair

gamers globally, the stake are high. Fraud can be notoriously

practices. The real crux of the problem arises however, when

difficult to combat, and identifying infringements can be

cheating becomes entwined with financial gain, suddenly

challenging, especially in light of an increasing use of

there’s a lot more at stake – for regulators, players, and

sophisticated tech. Fraudsters have become savvy in

platform operators. The gambling climate has shifted somewhat in the last few years. Operators have previously been reluctant to fully embrace responsible gaming or good KYC procedures, especially when taking the ethical route can add a serious burden to overheads - but tightening restrictions from regulators and a global crackdown on illicit behaviour has convinced operators to get behind preventative measures in support of responsible gaming.

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exploiting big data to easily detect vulnerability and increase the size of the attacks. Sorting through mountains of data from gambling platforms is a thankless task and often less than fruitful. The silver lining though is that the mountain of data actually exists. The digital age has generated an abundance of data ripe for the picking, and with the right tools it can become a goldmine of opportunity. Given the low costs associated with cloud-based computing, A.I. is an appealing solution to operators looking to avoid falling foul of heavy fines.

The links to organised crime such as drug trafficking, terrorism

Proper data analysis based on A.I. based machine learning

and credit card fraud make money laundering a target for

can help create an accurate player profile, by indentifying

regulators looking to tidy up the industry. Federal agencies

patterns and behaviours associated with risky activity

estimate that $300bn is laundered annually in the US alone.

such as fraud, and addiction, and strengthening identity


Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

verification through algorithms. It can also turn its hand to a bit

The latter is often the favoured model, not only because it

of fortune telling. Predicting outcomes based on past use can

is cheaper but because clustering generally stumbles upon

be a useful method of nipping bad behaviour in the bud before

anomalies – something even the most skilled human can fail

it happens, creating better protection for consumers.

to spot. This kind of automation can flag circumstances such as players who deviate from routine and suddenly start placing large bets or players who tag team and engage in collusion.

“A.I. based machine learning can help create an accurate player profile, by indentifying patterns and behaviours associated with risky activity such as fraud, and addiction�

Recent developments in A.I. present a huge opportunity for regulators and operators to automate and enforce regulations throughout online gaming platforms. It is also being backed by institutions such as the Competitiveness Council of the EU on A.I. In February they backed a series of proposals designed to revolutionise A.I. across the continent, including a boost to investment and support of research and knowledge sharing. The Maltese government has also devised a national A.I. strategy through the initiation last year of an A.I. task force, placing the country in the right position to explore Artificial Intelligence as a

While traditional tools stumble when faced with data that is in constant flux, machine algorithms thrive on unstructured data such as in-game chats. Machine learning normally goes one of two ways: it operates either on a supervised or unsupervised basis. The former means chats are manually

new economic niche. The strategy will eventually develop cutting edge use-cases of how A.I. can benefit myriad sectors of the industry, including the gaming industry. The online gambling sphere is an excellent generator of user data and as such has become an ideal resource to

marked as potentially troublesome. The chats can then be

feed machine learning projects and drive innovation in A.I.

used as a learning opportunity for the machine-learning code,

research. This has produced a win-win scenario for players

which will eventually produce a model capable of pointing out

and operators as well as academics looking to build A.I. driven

compulsive behaviour.

frameworks for mass implementation.

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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE 140


Feature

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

BOSS. GAMING SOLUTIONS IS AN INDEPENDENT SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CATALINA LUKIANENKO SHARES HER VISION FOR THE MAIN TRENDS IN THE IGAMING INDUSTRY AND HER PREDICTIONS FOR ITS FUTURE.

iGaming is a continuously developing industry where

concept of creating a complete game which combines

new technology can make a big impact. Each and every

slots together is a great motivational tool to keep players

game provider and software developer aims to please the

interested. Gamification gives people exactly what they

customer with the best new offer, and innovation is one of

want; however, the best combination takes place when the

the most effective ways to reach this goal.

gaming environment is supplemented with a character.

Implementing the latest technologies seems the right way

As a brand representative, a character obtains some

to impress a customer - below are some of the trends

specific traits and a manner of speaking. The latter helps to

dominating the market at the moment.

communicate with your target audience via the character

VIRTUAL REALITY Virtual Reality is seen by a lot of people, as well as by the media, as a brave, sci-fi future that is not too far off. However, we can hardly call it the future of iGaming. Despite predictions for VR to become one of the most popular innovations in iGaming, tests show it isn’t ready to capture the iGaming market in the immediate future. At the moment VR technologies are used as a part of an experiment where game providers try to expand their products with the elements of augmented reality to engage slot players. Still, VR is a billion-dollar niche which is slowly revealing its huge potential to the iGaming world, and we

and engage players to appreciate your games.

“Each and every game provider and software developer aims to please the customer with the best new offer, and innovation is one of the most effective ways to reach this goal”

believe that soon many casino games will demonstrate their VR offerings. BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTO Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are used widely in online casino projects and we expect they will support the iGaming industry for a long time to come. It especially concerns betting when blockchain can bring a clearer

SINGLE GAMING INFRASTRUCTURE Players often want to play casino games, participate in tournaments or make bets on the same gaming resource, so providing a multifunctional gaming platform is probably the best solution for entrepreneurs in iGaming.

and more transparent gaming and payouts process. At

BOSS. Gaming has developed a solution which can

BOSS. Gaming we landed a great opportunity to acquiesce

easily combine betting and gambling in a single gaming

blockchain usability after launching an online casino project

infrastructure. The BOSS. Platform, a full product suite for

with the ability to make payments through cryptocurrencies.

launching and managing an online casino also includes

Currently being used as an alternative payment method, the cryptocurrency sphere is all set to expand its influence further down the road. It’s no surprise, as crypto is not only a safe payment option for players but also a great way to perform transactions of sustainable fund amounts throughout the entire iGaming industry. GAMIFICATION AND BRAND IMAGE

integrated top game providers, Sportsbook, bonus and jackpot management system, popular payment options, gaming and financial statistics, the preset module for an affiliate program, KYC, Help Desk, and an Anti-Fraud system. It also has a strong and flexible API which helps to integrate additional payment options and providers. An online casino business can be launched in almost any part of the world on the basis of the BOSS. Platform, as it meets

Not innovative but extremely beneficial, the gamification

the IFRS Financial standard and is a GDPR-ready product. It

trend has been helping to engage players for years. The

also comes with a Maltese gaming licence and offers to work

truth is, players enjoy rewards and achievements, and the

within white label or full-turnkey solutions.

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Careers

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

HOT CAREERS SiGMA Careers features a comprehensive database with an abundance of human resource potential – offering the iGaming community a unique opportunity to tap into SiGMA’s well-stocked network. The SiGMA Careers Listing features prominently on the website, offering prospective candidates, including recent graduates, their pick of employment opportunities from a plethora of established companies servicing a wide selection of industries.

Visit www.sigma.com.mt to browse vacancies or to advertise a position.

A+

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Development Manager (Full Time)

Compliance Officer (Full Time)

BOSS. Gaming solutions is looking for a Business Development Manager to join our team on a full-time basis.

BOSS. Gaming Solutions is looking for a Compliance Officer to join our team on a full-time basis

You will be responsible for selling our software to new clients (B2B) and taking them through the steps of go-live to ensure future growth of overall business with them. Creating an industry-leading experience, where clients want to work with our software.

Find out more at bossgs.com

Find out more at bossgs.com

Software Engineer (Full Time)

NOC Engineer (Full Time) We are looking for some NOC Engineers to join our 24/7 team. Operating from the Malta office, having strong technical skills an unbending desire to make things right, the candidate will be supporting the systems of our casino & sportsbook platform which drives dozens of gaming websites and provides sport events to hundreds of thousands of players worldwide.

We are looking for Software Engineers to join our expanding team. Operating from the Malta office, having strong technical skills with an unbending desire to make things right, the candidate will be maintaining and developing on our gaming platform which drives dozens of gaming websites and provides sports events to hundreds of thousands of players worldwide. Find out more at www.tain.com

Find out more at www.tain.com

Risk and Compliance Officer (Full Time) BDO Malta is seeking a Risk and Compliance Officer to join the team.

Corporate Services Officer (Full Time) BDO Malta is seeking to recruit a Corporate Services Officer to join our team. At BDO, you will gain exposure to an international environment leading to very good career progression prospects and continuing professional development exposure. This is a full-time position within a team of like-minded professionals, already engaged to provide services to companies with operations around the globe. From midsize companies to public listed entities, BDO Malta serves clients in virtually all industries. We utilise a vast network of resources, drawing upon diverse experiences to ensure our clients’ meet increasingly challenging regulatory and business requirements. Find out more at www.bdo.com.mt

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At BDO, you will gain exposure to an international environment leading to very good career progression prospects and continuing professional development exposure. This is a full-time position within a team of like-minded professionals, already engaged to provide services to companies with operations around the globe. From midsize companies to public listed entities, BDO Malta serves clients in virtually all industries. We utilise a vast network of resources, drawing upon diverse experiences to ensure our clients meet increasingly challenging regulatory and business requirements. Find out more at www.bdo.com.mt


Careers

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Payroll Officer (Full Time)

Junior Accountants (Full Time)

BDO Malta is seeking a Risk and Compliance Officer to join the team.

BDO Malta is seeking Junior/Trainee Accountants to join the team.

At BDO, you will gain exposure to an international environment leading to very good career progression prospects and continuing professional development exposure. This is a full-time position within a team of like-minded professionals, already engaged to provide services to companies with operations around the globe. From midsize companies to public listed entities, BDO Malta serves clients in virtually all industries.

At BDO, you will gain exposure to an international environment leading to very good career progression prospects and continuing professional development exposure. This is a full-time position within a team of like-minded professionals, already engaged to provide services to companies with operations around the globe. From midsize companies to public listed entities, BDO Malta serves clients in virtually all industries.

We utilise a vast network of resources, drawing upon diverse experiences to ensure our clients meet increasingly challenging regulatory and business requirements.

Find out more at www.bdo.com.mt

Find out more at www.bdo.com.mt

Junior Content Writer (Full Time) We are looking for a Chief Commercial Officer to join us. We are looking for a passionate Junior Content Writer with basic Photoshop skills, a love of writing and a fluent level of English.

Chief Commercial Officer (Full Time)

Find out more at www.cannabizsummit.world

We are looking for a Chief Commercial Officer to join us. This position is responsible for successfully commercialising the Company’s current and future products. This position has direct responsibility for leading the Company’s sales and marketing teams from setting the strategic direction to the tactical execution of sales and marketing efforts. Find out more at www.cannabizsummit.world

Account Manager (Full Time) We are looking for a skilled and experienced Account Manager to join our team! The ideal candidate should be able to work autonomously and with confidence. Find out more at www.cannabizsummit.world

Social Coordinator (Full Time) The social coordinator will be required to make the social media experience of Global Gaming brands truly engaging and entertaining. In order to succeed, you are responsible for maintaining and growing our brands’ presence on social networks; managing the local social calendar; creating Social Media Campaigns; creating action plans for our brands; creative writing and content optimisation through datadriven insights; managing communication with followers and provide regular reporting. Find out more at www.globalgaming.com

Affiliate Manager, Casino (Full Time) As the Affiliate Manager – Casino, this role will be responsible for primarily managing affiliate accounts in the Casino side of the Affiliate Program (across all the Stars Groups brands and platforms) executing the Group’s Affiliates Strategy in relation to Casino, as set by Group Management. On a secondary plane, it may also extend all the below responsibilities to other verticals as needed, depending on growth and workload, hence experience with Sports betting and Poker is desired. Find out more at www.starsgroup.com

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Administration Assistant (Full Time)

HR Manager (Full Time)

Media Consulta Malta is looking for someone to join our growing team of Administrative Assistants in the Translation department. The ideal candidate would be mature, focused, and able to multitask and be a stickler for detail. The role consists of managing the translation process for numerous jobs running simultaneously on behalf of our clients, ensuring timely delivery and absolute accuracy in the final product. Ability to speak one language in addition to English and Maltese would be an asset. Confidence with Microsoft Office programmes including Excel will be important for the right candidate to get up and running quickly in this busy department. This is a challenging and rewarding position for the right candidate.

The position requires solid experience in general HR positions, preferably in a start-up environment; that you care for the team you work with, making sure that they are spending time in a motivating environment; have experience in technical recruiting; know how to discuss and help people that are approaching you; worked in startup atmosphere before – with a company of 40-50 people, heavily focused on tech and ideally you have experience with remote workers and are business fluent in both German and English. This position is based in our Berlin office. Find out more at booming-games.com

Find out more at www.media-consulta.com.mt

Junior Graphic Designer (Full Time) Marketing and Events Coordinator (Part Time) We are looking for a person to take over a dynamic, creative and very busy role as a Marketing and Events Coordinator within the most active part of our business. We offer the most adventurous and adrenaline-pumping range of team-building activities for corporate clients. Your role will be to find the right customers and offer them a wonderful experience in the great outdoors, anywhere in Malta and Gozo. Some experience of team-building, or in event marketing and planning will be an asset. Good command of English is required and any additional language will be considered an asset. This is an office-based job, mainly focused on marketing, communicating and planning amazing events for our customers.

The candidate will know how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator; how to use social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook Pages, Linkedin, Youtube and be able to communicate efficiently in English. They should also manage time and tasks efficiently and have 1-2 years of work experience. Responsibilities: You will be handling our corporate image and communication, be working on marketing material and promotional campaigns for our games and maintaining our social media profiles. Find out more at booming-games.com

Find out more at www.mcteambuilding.com.mt

Norwegian Content Manager (Full-time)

The candidate will be required to monitor and grow organic traffic of our existing assets, with constant audits, suggestions and improvements while mitigating risks. The Junior SEO Manager should keep up with the SEM industry by constantly educating himself/ herself about the latest SEO practices. The candidate will also be expected to keep up to date with the latest Google updates, attend weekly SEO meetings, provide weekly SEO reports and analyse sites on a quarterly basis and present them to the Head of SEO.

Applicants will be required to deliver upon the content orders – liaising with the SEO team and Account Managers to deliver the content demands. Majority of the work of the Content Manager will be onsite SEO work – in compliance with the SEO team and conducting onsite optimisations on sites of responsibility. Applicants will need to work hands-on with the onsite content to increase the UX and SEO value, decrease the amount of onsite errors to improve the sites performance and run offsite marketing projects with the main goal to increase organic search traffic and leads. They will also be required to manage the freelancers for the market (when applicable) to assure the best quality content in accordance to the demand, while keeping expenditures within the budget set and be fully responsible for the onsite content of your sites.

Kindly send your CV to: hr@highlight.com

Kindly send your CV to: hr@highlight.com

Junior SEO Manager (Full-time)

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Careers

ISSUE 10 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Manager’s Assistant (Full Time)

Branch Manager (Commision-based)

Dhalia is on the lookout for a person skilled in secretarial work to join the team and work in our branch offices. The selected candidate will be responsible for providing secretarial support to the branch manager in addition to overseeing the upkeep of the office. We are looking for positive and outgoing people with sound organisational skills who are good team players and able to work under pressure.  Persons must have excellent interpersonal skills and proficient in the use of computers.

Due to Dhalia’s successful growth strategy, the Company is on the lookout for Branch Managers for a number of new offices to be opened shortly. Experience as Sales and Letting consultants is a must together with a strong knowledge of the industry and market trends.  Managers are requested to possess a high level of energy, competitiveness and drive and must require managerial skills with an assertive attitude and a capability to assume a leadership role. Find out more at www.dhalia.com

Find out more at www.dhalia.com

Back-end Engineer (Part-time, Full-time) The back-end engineer is required to create the foundations for incorporating our data into APIs, machine learning models, and consumer-facing products. They will need to help improve our code quality through writing unit tests, automation and performing code reviews, work with the product and design teams to understand enduser requirements, formulate use cases, and then translate that into a pragmatic and effective technical solution. Skills & Qualifications: The right candidate will have 3+ years of experience in backend Java development; experience building and integrating APIs and experience automating application deployments, testing, monitoring, and using data to diagnose problems. Find out more at www.betegy.com

Front-end Developer (Part-time, Full-time) The candidate is required to implement designs with high quality and accuracy. The successful applicant will make effective use of frameworks, plugins, and existing solutions to efficiently meet the needs of the project, create CSS and ensure high-quality graphics standards that are consistent across all browsers and platforms. They will also collaborate with back-end developers and web designers to improve usability, conversion, and other primary KPIs and work cross-functionally to meet product launch and promotional deadlines. Skills & Qualifications: 5+ years of front-end developing experience; strong competency in responsive, mobile-first layouts and a working knowledge of web service APIs. server-side web development. An ability to effectively communicate your work with both technical and non-technical team members and familiarity with UI/UX principles and best practices as well as possessing exceptional project management and timeline creation abilities. Working web design capabilities are a plus. Find out more at www.betegy.com

Motion Graphic Designer (Part-time, Full-time) The candidate will be required to create pre-rendered and in-video effects, or post-production effects for movies or commercials. They will also be asked to combine different audio, video, photography, animation, and illustration components, work with editors, producers and other designers to resolve technical and/or design issues and assist in designing and creating storyboards. Skills & Qualifications: A passion for art, design, and motion graphics; 3-5 years of experience in graphic design, motion graphics or related position; the refined visual design language; strong collaborative skills and a knowledge of various rendering formats for video/audio on different platforms. Find out more at www.betegy.com

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Who’s Who | SiGMA

ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

WHO’S WHO IN THE MALTA GAMING INDUSTRY

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Get acquainted with this new hot video slot and find out more about our top-notch portfolio of more than 150 classical video slots at www.egt-interactive.com

VISIT US AT: BELGRADE FAIR / HALL 3 / SERBIA

FERIA VALENCIA / PABELLÓN 8 / SPAIN

JUN 04 - 05, 2019 / STAND E1

JUN 11 - 12, 2019 / STAND A11


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Evgenij Kiriushin Head of Business Development www.1xbet.com

1xBet is a betting company with 8 years offline and online experience. We offer high odds, video streaming, an in-house affiliate platform, 100 payment methods, a wide range of bonuses, live casino, branded slot games, a user-friendly interface, a multilanguage platform and 24/7 CS service. 1xBet works in Europe, CIS, Asia and Africa.

Michele Spiteri Chief Commercial Officer www.allintranslations.com

All-in Translations offers content, SEO and localisation services dedicated to the gaming industry, all available in more than 70 languages. Paddy Power Betfair, Playtech, Microgaming and more than 200 gaming companies worldwide trust our 10 years’ experience, ISOcertified processes and mastery of their gaming lingo.

Keith Mangion Livori Casino Director www.amazinggaming.com

Amazing Gaming is born out of years-long experience and the aspiration to develop and offer a full suite of engaging playerfacing products. Amazing Gaming offers a well-rounded SB solution through the Odds feed product as well as the live casino feed from its own dedicated tables within the Portomaso Casino in Malta.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Ryan Cachia Managing Director www.acquiring.com

acquiring.com is a merchant services provider that works seamlessly in partnering with any PSP, payment facilitator, ISO, or merchant from a traditional or emerging vertical. The business relationship between partner and acquirer is nurtured by our dedicated, vertical-specific account team, allowing us to develop a clear understanding of each business goal and to formulate the most intelligent strategy to achieve it.

Dinos Stranomitis COO www.altenar.com

Altenar is a provider of sportsbook services to licensed gaming operators, ranging from ‘software-only’ product offers to the provision of a fully managed sports betting platform stack. Our software is developed and operated in-house, whilst being powered by premium quality data feeds.

Daniel Buttigieg Head of Business Development www.apcopay.eu

ApcoPay is a fully integrated payments solution, an all-in-one platform that provides clients with all they need to cater for multichannel and multi-currency payment options through a single interface. The solution is designed to cater for high transaction volumes, scalability and continuous improvement. With headquarters in Malta, ApcoPay are specialists in payment solutions with over 15 years’ industry experience.

Tsachi Maimon CEO www.aspireglobal.com

Tim Andrews Operations Manager www.aurum-solutions.com

Aspire Global, the complete iGaming platform, offers best in class “all in one” solutions for operators since 2005. Our platform features slot games, casino games, live casino, sport-betting and is certified under 6 jurisdictions. We invite you to join all the top-level brands currently taking advantage of day-to-day success.

Aurum Solutions is a leading supplier and developer of Reconciliation & Data-Matching Software. Their flagship software, Groupit, is highly capable of automating complex processes at an affordable cost. The company currently works with many big names in the Gaming Industry, where they have drastically reduced workload and mitigated financial risk by adding enhanced governance and improving financial control.

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Kristina Hambardzumyan Regional Director of Malta www.betconstruct.com

Sergey Chernyavski Deputy Director, Sales & Marketing free-slot.belatragames.com

BetConstruct is a global award-winning technology and services provider for the online and land-based gaming industry. BetConstruct’s innovative and proven offerings include Online and Retail Sportsbook, Classic and Virtual Reality RNG and Live Casinos, Poker, Skill Games, Fantasy Sports, Social Gaming Platform, Sports Data Solutions and more – all ready to be launched and managed through SpringBME.

In the new edition - Belatra Games has a wide experience in supplying high-tech online games. Amazing graphics, sound effects, well-developed maths and a multicurrency Jackpot - everything that attracts professional players and allows for our partners to get better results. We are passionate about what we create and proud of the variety and uniqueness of our online slots. Welcome to the fascinating world of online games! ®

www.belatragames.com

Alex Kornilov CEO & Founder www.betegy.com

BETEGY is a sports data analytics company. We created an automated self-learning system which predicts outcomes of football games with high accuracy. We also licence our data and visualisation systems to global sports betting and media companies like ESPN, Turkcell, Ringier Axel Springer, Wozhongla.com, Yahoo Sports, Bwin and others.

Alexandros Gerontikos Director Sales Southern Europe www.betradar.com

Betradar is the betting arm of Sportradar, the world’s leading provider of sports betting, data and entertainment solutions. With a proven ability to drive business performance beyond any limits, Betradar is the trusted partner of bookmakers and operators across the world, no matter how large or small.

www.betsys.com

BetSys is the largest supplier of sports betting software in Central and Eastern Europe. BetSys provides a comprehensive solution for online, retail, and mobile sports betting. Consisting of a package of front-end and back-end applications which collaborate together and bring a proven method of best practices to make management of your sports book easy and efficient. The BetSys platform is scalable, allowing maximum flexibility to adapt to market standards. BetSys: Your full spectrum of betting.

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Aiste Garneviciene COO www.betgames.tv

BetGames.TV is a developer and distributor of interactive (LIVE) and innovative gaming products for gambling businesses (B2B). Our games create multi-table effects, with a possibility to try different games - allowing players to be engaged. We combine traditional betting with popular lotteries and table games. 

Annamaria Anastasi Marketing Director www.betsoft.com

Betsoft Gaming develops innovative casino games for desktop and mobile. Its portfolio of more than 190 RNG titles reaches players through partnerships with many of the iGaming industry’s leading operators. Betsoft has held a Class 4 license with the Malta Gaming Authority since 2014. The company’s games and RNG are both independently certified in more than 15 different regulated markets, including Italy, Germany, and Romania.

Megan Palm Affiliate Manager www.bitstarz.com

There are many casinos out there, and everyone is claiming a unique twist. We are BitStarz, a small group of casino-enthusiasts, who are all casino players. Back in 2014, we broke new ground as the first casino in the world to offer crypto alongside regular currencies. Today we’re a multi-award winning casino offering premium support with personality and 10-minute cash-outs.


Who’s Who | SiGMA

ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Ian Hills Commercial Manager www.blexr.com

Blexr is a performance marketing company based in Malta and Barcelona. We provide high-quality leads for our partners and a great working environment for our employees. We’re always looking for successful clients to work with, and for talented people to join us. We believe your business or your career path will be #betterwithblexr

Catalina Lukianenko COO www.bossgs.com

BOSS. is an independent world-class software developer and provider of high-class online and land-based gaming solutions. Core company products and solutions are the gaming platform, sportsbook and betting services, land-based casino software, affiliate system, payment solutions, own online casino slots and white label solutions. BOSS. Gaming provides consulting services and helps to get licences, develop strategies, manage purchased online casino, offers technical and operational support and assists clients with getting business results.

Andrew Stone Key Account Manager www.buffalopartners.com

With over 20 years’ experience, Buffalo Partners represents a collection of the world’s largest online casinos and sportsbooks. A true pioneer of the industry, we launched our first online casino Gaming Club in 1994. The latest brand in our stable is SpinPalace Sports – an exciting new sportsbook with a shared wallet.

Saulius Racevičius CEO www.connectpay.com

ConnectPay is a regulated financial institution, licensed by the Bank of Lithuania to undertake payment services and to issue electronic money under the Electronic Money Institution license. We are a provider of financial services for rapidly-growing online-focused businesses, which are long under-served by mainstream banks. From receiving funds to intra-company transfers, to paying your suppliers and stakeholders - with ConnectPay you can complete your entire monthly cash-flow cycle with ease and efficiency.

Frederick Niehusen CCO www.booming-games.com

Booming Games deliver high-end, next level gaming to the slots market. Utilising the knowledge of seasoned ex-Booming Games deliver high-end, next level gaming to the slots market. Utilising the knowledge of seasoned experts, they offer an established portfolio encompassing uniquely themed games, innovative features and volatilities to satisfy every spectrum of the player market. They harness proven formulas for success, combined with the latest developments in the gaming industry to deliver a winning experience.

Alan Cini Director www.broadwing.jobs

At Broadwing Recruitment, we are committed to providing an agile and effective service to our clients and candidates through collaboration with an international network of service providers. With each of our partners bringing their own expertise to the table, we are able to offer sound advice and the right connections to exceed expectations.

Itamar Ronen Chief Revenue Officer www.cellxpert.com

Cellxpert, the leading affiliate tracking software, puts you in full control of your affiliate program. Run all marketing channels and reach meaningful insights based on your performance, results and ROI. One practical solution to increase your revenue: From tracking and campaign performance to ad serving and regulation tools.

Michael Tobin Co-Founder & CEO www.continent8.com

Your hub for iGaming in over 40 locations across Europe, Asia, and the Americas: Continent 8 Technologies is the world’s largest iGaming global network solutions provider. We provide global managed hosting, connectivity, and security through world-class DDOS detection and mitigation, public-private cloud services, and dual data centres in Malta.

ConnectPay 153


SiGMA | Who’s Who

Denitza Dimitrova Managing Director www.ddconsultus.com

DD Consultus is based in Malta and specialises in the online gaming industry, online payment processing and related services. Our company offers senior international gaming consultancy to all sectors of the gaming industry and across several jurisdictions. Our provision of services also extends to the field of online payments, the acquisition of financial institutions, and electronic money licences in Malta, as well as consultancy to online payment processors.

Anna Soldatova Sales Manager www.igamingaudience.com

Programmatic DSP, DMP and AdServer is an iGaming Audience Platform – a product by Delta Projects. The company offers branding & conversions campaign-management, ad-serving, analysis and reporting, as well as video, mobile & display. We have more than 15 years experience in digital advertising and are currently based in Malta, with our headquarters in Stockholm. 

Sarah Gusman Business Development Manager www.dhalia.com

Dhalia was founded in Malta in 1982 and is the largest privatelyowned real estate agency in Malta and Gozo. Dhalia’s team of highlyskilled and well-trained agents provide clients with a unique blend of knowledge, experience and the modern skills required to meet the demands of a rapidly changing property market.

Michele Baccari Sales Manager Payments www.dimoco.eu/carrierbilling

DIMOCO is a Payment Service Provider, licensed in the EU and supervised by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA). Responsible for processing global payments, including credit cards, online bank transfers and SEPA direct debit and direct carrier billing for online merchants, offering a combination of payment methods, tailored industry-specific solutions, transaction risk management tools and flexible value added services.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Keith Pace Managing Director www.ddreamhotelmalta.com

My dream was to offer a refreshing concept with comfortable, convenient and relaxing accommodation in Malta’s most soughtafter town, bringing luxury to our guests and similar amenities to those found in a 5 star property. Rooms and apartments are finished to high standards with various layouts, bed, pillow, and bathroom types. Strong, reliable WiFi is available throughout the property. We also offer the use of a multipurpose meeting room and spa facilities.

Olivia Englund Business Operation Manager www.paymentforgaming.com

PaymentIQ is DevCode Payment’s merchant payment platform built especially for the iGaming industry. Together with our iGaming clients, we have developed, streamlined and implemented payment solutions from all around the world, meeting the highest requirements on availability, performance, security and flexibility.

Suren Khachatryan CCO www.digitain.com

Digitain provides Omni-channel iGaming software solutions to the online, mobile and land-based verticals. We have more than 35 partners worldwide. The multi-channel platform allows for a frictionless turnkey or white label solution for the land-based, online and mobile operators, via our Bespoke APIs to integrate a sportsbook, casino, live dealer and so forth.

Marcos Toran Head of Business Development www.easypaymentsgateway.com

Easy Payment Gateway is the real one-stop solution for the gambling industry. We offer an online gateway with over 250 solutions and acquirers worldwide. We offer all the tools that an operator needs to manage their payments and fraud through one very simple API. Forget about those fixed reports, or fixed fraud or payment rules, we give the operator the option to decide based on their needs. Also our integration makes possible for the operator to host the cashier, without the need of being PCI. Come and see us!


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Jonathan Amrani Director of Operations www.ecopayz.com/en

ecoPayz is a global payment solutions provider, offering instant, secure and convenient payment services to customers and businesses worldwide . The ecoPayz Merchant Account gives retailers and merchants the ability to instantly receive and send funds, whilst employers using the ecoPayz Business Account have access to a low-cost and simple means of paying individuals and staff worldwide.

www.efesclub.com Efes Club is a one-stop shop for all your iGaming needs including sports betting, gaming and managed services. We applied all our extensive knowledge on all areas of gaming into building a flexible platform that keeps you focused on the big picture. Cutting edge technology tailored to your business.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Dominic Daniel Liénard CEO www.edict.de

Edict eGaming GmbH develops cutting edge casino software for the gaming industry. As a subsidiary of Merkur Interactive, Edict is part of the Gauselmann Group and distributor of the Merkur slots. Edict provides established online operators as well as industry newcomers with two remarkable gaming products: Edict Game Solution and Turnkey Solution.

Todor Zahariev Managing Director www.egt-interactive.com

EGT Interactive brings 15 years of experience from EGT’s land-based casino slots to the world of online casino games. Our 150+ games are known worldwide in more than 85 countries. The proven engine, attractive RTP, high execution quality of the video slots and the Mystery Jackpot feature are only some of the advantages that build our strong base of dedicated players and attract new users.

Yrsa Thunholm Sales Manager www.elk-studios.com

Francesca Baldacchino Legal Account Manager www.emgroup.io

Since 2013, ELK Studios has passionately pushed boundaries in the online casino industry. From ground-breaking mathematics to astonishing artwork, ELK takes pride in developing entertaining mobile-first content that maximises the experience for players around the world.

The EM Group offers compliance and corporate services for eGambling in Curaçao, Malta and Cyprus. Through our servicecompanies - Emoore and EMS Management Services, we provide incorporation and management services, application for eGambling licences, compliance in the field of regulatory matters, responsible gaming, AML and fraud prevention.

Ermal Thaci Director of Enterprise Sales www.emailage.com

Emailage, founded in 2012 and with offices in Phoenix, London and Sao Paulo, is a leader in helping companies significantly reduce online fraud. Through key partnerships, proprietary data, and machine-learning technology, Emailage builds a multi-dimensional profile associated with a customer’s email address and renders a predictive risk score. Customers reap significant savings from identifying and stopping fraudulent transactions.

Chris Smart Binary & High Risk Verticals www.emerchantpay.com

emerchantpay is a leading online, mobile and POS payment service provider. We help e-commerce businesses of all sizes and sectors accept payments via multiple customer touch points. Designed to increase conversions, our offering includes robust payment processing technology coupled with popular alternative payment methods and a range of acquiring services.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Germano Arnò CEO www.emoney.com.mt

Em@ney is a provider of financial services and innovative banking solutions. Fully licensed by MFSA as an Electronic Money Institution since 2017. We offer banking platforms, white label and API, that guarantee safe transactions. AML and anti-terrorism compliant, thanks to the use of propriety screening tools that prevent anonymous and unlawful users.

Christian Diegelmann CEO www.europaymentgroup.com

Euro Payment Group (EPG) leverages the unique advantage of a deep industry knowledge combined with strong technical expertise to provide customised and optimised payment solutions for various kinds of online merchants. With its Licensed Financial Institution, EPG encompasses a blend of over 15 acquiring partners and 200 payment options worldwide.

Aleksandar Saric CEO & Senior Partner www.exefeed.com

EXEFEED is a company specialised in odds calculation, as well as creating applications for sports betting. The company offers: PREMATCH BETTING +25 events per month on 20k sports; LIVE BETTING +15k events per month across 12+ sports; LIVE BET BUILDER, which combines different selections in a single football match and creates one single bet with a unique price for all chosen selection; LIVE MATCH TRACKERS and GOAL RACE.

Kristoff Zammit Ciantar Director www.fastplay.com

Fastplay is the global identifier for the gaming industry, a trusted network that allows players and operators to communicate faster and more efficiently. Embedding Fastplay in your registration and login process will give you an increased click-through rate, faster acquisition and constantly updated KYC. Fastplay takes responsible gaming global.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Anastasia Rimskaya Business Development Manager www.endorphina.com

Endorphina is a producer of HD slot games. Our colourful game themes, which are focused on details and deeply researched, vary from classic Egyptians in ‘Temple Cats’ to fruits in ‘7up!’ to one of a kind themes like cryptocurrency in ‘Satoshi’s Secret.’ All our slot creations are done by our in-house team.

Dmitry Starostenkov CEO www.evenbetgaming.com

EvenBet Gaming is an online gaming software developer that creates world-class poker solutions and provides integration with third-party platforms. The company has worked in the iGaming market since 2006, and has launched over 80 poker rooms with almost 5 million users. Offices are located in USA, Russia, Hong Kong and Malta.

Adrian Sciberras CEO & Founder www.fairwindsmanagement.net

Fairwinds Management Limited is a company formation and administrations specialist offering an extensive range of corporate, legal, and accounting services. We handle company incorporations, open bank accounts, submit VAT and tax applications and other administration tasks related to new set ups. We also provide iGaming and Betting License Registrations.

Erkki Nikunen Partner, CMO www.finnplay.com

Founded in 2008, Finnplay specialises in developing a real money gaming platform and solutions for the iGaming industry, as well as catering to start-ups and large established companies looking to replace existing legacy gaming systems or to improve them.

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Who’s Who | SiGMA

ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

John Walker Regional Sales Director www.fluidbranding.com

FluidBranding is a specialist supplier to the iGaming industry and a leading distributor of promotional products, branded merchandise and corporate gifts. Based in the UK, where we have 7 offices and with further offices in Dublin, Amsterdam and Malta, our approach is slightly different, focusing on the personal touches and services that will guide our customers to the best possible outcome for their brand. 

www.gameart.net

GameArt is a leading provider of high-quality digital gaming. We deliver world-class HTML5 slots with state-of-the-art graphics. Whether you are a single operator or aggregator with hundreds of clients, our multi-language and currency platform offers a complete solution. We believe that simplicity equates to faster turnarounds and increased efficiency.

Elly Berrill Client Director www.gbgplc.com

GBG is a global specialist in Identity Data Intelligence. Through our fundamental belief that the digital economy relies on everyone having access to data they can trust, we enable organisations to improve their customer experience, fight fraud and cybercrime, and enable better decision making while complying with regulations.

Diego Verano Account Manager www.gmwasia.com

GMW is a casino content developer. We started developing slot machines for land-based casinos sixteen years ago for Latam, USA and the UK markets. We are very excited to be able to provide the same great games for B2B purposes. GMW currently provides more than 50 HTML5 games.

Ollie Wood Chief Commercial Officer www.gamblingcompliance.com

Gambling Compliance is the leading provider of independent business intelligence to the global gambling industry. We help industry professionals, advisors and investors reduce their regulatory risk exposure by specialising in legal, regulatory, political and market information, eLearning, and bespoke research, to understand what regulatory change today means for business opportunities tomorrow.

Taku Sawada CEO of Ganapati Malta Ltd www.ganapati.com

Ganapati produces high-quality, immersive online casino content for the iGaming industry. Ganapati supplies international online gaming markets with titles that combine the best Japanese game logic and design with a unique entertainment element. With offices in Tokyo, London, Malta, Estonia and Taiwan, Ganapati games utilise the provider’s contacts across the entertainment industry and feature licensed IP from internationally recognised studios along with its own in-house studios.

Idan Levy Chief Operations Officer www.genesis.com.mt

Genesis Global Ltd is a success story that started back in 2014 and became a fast-growing, data-driven and mobile gaming technology company. Genesis offers and develops cutting-edge services through its four B2C products, offering games from the best of breed content suppliers.

www.goliveaffiliates.com

GoLive Affiliates is a marketing and technology company providing services to affiliates over 250 iGaming affiliates for sportsbetting, poker, casino, horse racing, and more. With a network of over 1,500 affiliates dedicated exclusively to the iGaming and CryptoCurrency industry GoLive makes it possible to recruit thousands of active players for advertisers all over the world. Contact us to find out more about partnership opportunities with GoLive.

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

Marian Melinte Acquisition Manager www.gowildpartners.com 

GOWILD Partners, representing three casino brands, is the go-to affiliate program for those wanting to promote highly localised, innovative, multi-game provider products. Offering fast payouts, a sophisticated tracking system and experienced Affiliate Managers, they have the know-how and tools to become your best partner so, get in touch today!

Arcangelo Lonoce Head of Business Development - Europe www.habanerosystems.com

Habanero creates quality slot and table games for the gaming industry. Suitable for operators and aggregators, our multi-language, multi-currency HTML5 games are a perfect fit for any target market. Our focus is clear and we keep things simple. We are able to work quicker, respond faster and make decisions instantly. We provide pure gaming entertainment through our games.

Erik Gjerde CEO www.highlight.com

Highlight Media helps people make the right decisions online, by operating and developing user-friendly comparison websites, primarily within iGaming. Highlight Media owns and operates more than 130 brands in 30 markets.

David Pope Marketing Director www.hooyubusiness.com

At HooYu we offer the most innovative services for ID verification and investigation of people & businesses. Our range of services helps operators to meet age and identity verification compliance whilst delivering a smooth global customer on-boarding experience.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Thomai Papoutzi Legal Services Director & Corporate Communications Specialist www.Goalbet.com

Goalbet is a company that provides sportsbetting and casino services. Goalbet offers a wide variety of sports with the most competitive odds in the market. It also offers casino games from the top software providers globally. Instant payments have contributed to creating a trustworthy relationship with its clients.

Richard Mifsud CEO www.heliogaming.com

Helio Gaming is a platform provider bringing new concepts to the gaming industry with a special focus on lottery. We offer a full stag lottery vertical with huge jackpot games, including our flagship game Lotto Hero. We develop custom-made RNG lottery games, offer betting on international lotteries and live draws which retain players, reward loyalty and reactivate lapsed players.

Stanisalas Devaux Head of International & iGaming www.hipay.com

HiPay is a global PSP who believes that payment goes far beyond the processing of deposits. Thanks to our customisable platform, operators gain more value from their payment data, leveraging analytics and AI, with a 360° view of their online activity. We help them optimise success rates, increase ROI, and create seamless deposit experiences.

Stav Zilbershtein Co-Founder & CEO www.hyperion-tech.co

Hyperion Tech is a dedicated I.T team-building company for mid and long-term projects based in Malta. We build outstanding passionate dedicated teams. We know that by creating the right company culture, teams form in their true potential and that is exactly what we do. Hyperion is a disruptive force in the I.T market, thanks to a lean and effective approach with enterprise clients.


Who’s Who | SiGMA

ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Jamie Debono Director www.igacademy.com

With 30,000+ learners online, 2,500+ classroom attendees and 60+ corporate clients, iGaming Academy is the industry’s foremost provider of compliance and skills based training. Available in eLearning or face-to-face format and delivered via our state-ofthe-art, full customisable learning management system, our course portfolio is trusted by online gambling, land-based casino and betting shop businesses worldwide.

Adam Bernath Founder www.igaming.studio

iGaming Studio brings innovation in design and UX for forwardthinking brands in the iGaming industry. Creative advertising, user experience focused design, responsive prototyping, IoT integration, real-time 3D visualization, VR/AR/MR and motion graphics are all great tools to give your brand the competitive edge in visual communication.

Daniele Alfonso Enterprise Sales Executive www.gambling.iovation.com

Iovation provides device intelligence for authentication and fraud prevention. By delivering granular insight about devices, the relationships, and their global reputation, we help companies stop fraud and streamline the experience for trusted users. Today, businesses around the world leverage Iovation’s database of billions of devices and the relationships between them, to determine the level of risk associated with online transactions. 

Kiren Sreekumar Co-Founder & Managing Director www.itechlabs.com

iTech Labs is an accredited testing and certification laboratory for all major online gaming jurisdictions. As a trusted industry leader, iTech Labs prides itself on a culture of integrity to the industry and to their customers, while dedicating their skills to meeting customer’s deadlines, at the same time as maintaining the highest quality of testing at set, competitive rates.

Mario Fiorini Director www.igamingadvisors.com

iGamingAdvisors is a turnkey solution for acquisition of a Gaming Licence, company formation and more. Our advisors will assist you throughout the whole process, irrespective of whether you are relocating from a different jurisdiction or a startup. iGamingAdvisors offer key functions roles, TAX, setting up of ICOs, white paper review and more.

www.intertops.eu/affiliate

SPORTSBOOK. CASINO. POKER. Intertops Affiliate Program is reliable and fast. With over 20 years under its belt, the company has been trusted since 1983, with operations going online in 1996. We are also fast – known for our quick payments to our affiliates. Trust the first. Sign up now!

Antoine Vella Managing Director www.ipoint.com.mt

Ipoint International Ltd. is a professional branding agency. We help clients through our plethora of professional services such as Branding, UX/UI, Web Development, Graphic Design, Custom Cloud Software, 3D and Multimedia. We find creative solutions that solve problems with ideas that impress. Get in touch now and let’s take the journey together.

www.jeton.com

Jeton Wallet is online payment provider operating in more than 50 countries with 27 currencies. Jeton has payment solutions for your local and global expansions, delivering the best local payments in every market. Expand your business internationally with support for all major payment methods through one platform and one partner with a single contact.

161


Luigi Spina COO www.joingames.net

Join Games Malta Ltd is a B2B casino and poker provider founded in 2014, our games are made entirely in-house and are certified under this jurisdiction: Malta (MGA), Italy (AAMS), Curaçao, Colombia, Isle of Man and many more on the way.

Arnaud Serour Managing Director www.karambapartners.com

Karamba, leading online gaming brand is built on the foundation of fun, laughter and doing things differently. With an impressive portfolio of more than 500 games including slots, scratch cards, casino table games, live casino and sport-betting, Karamba is the leading online gaming site! Join us today, and LET’S GO KARAMBA!

Anies Khan Head of Sales, EMEA www.jumio.com

Jumio Netverify® enables businesses to dramatically reduce fraud, increase customer conversions, and simplify regulatory compliance (e.g. GDPR, AML and KYC). Jumio leverages AI, machine learning, computer vision, biometrics and human review to quickly and reliably verify a user’s online identity around the globe. Visit Jumio at Stand B32.

Henrik Tjarnstrom CEO www.kindredgroup.com

Kindred Group (previously Unibet Group) is one of the largest online gambling companies in the world with over 23 million customers. Kindred Group is committed to offering customers the best deal and user experience possible, while ensuring a safe and fair gambling environment. Kindred Group has close to 1500 employees, 350 of these located in Malta. We offer career opportunities within Customer Support, Player Safety, Tech, Marketing, Creative and much more.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Alan Alden Director & Co-Founder http://kyte.global

Founded in 2006, Kyte has established itself as a full solution provider to Financial Institutions, Gaming Operators, Commercial organizations, Government bodies and Regulators, Blockchain and DLT companies in over 50 countries. Kyte helps its customers to obtain Gaming, Financial Institution and Crypto licenses and to meet and comply with various regulatory requirements and information security standards, such as ISO27001, PCIDSS, GDPR, AML, KYC, provision of leading edge solutions for Fraud Management and Compliance along with a fully-managed Security Operations Centre.

Massimo Matteazzi Head of Affiliate Marketing www.landleurope.eu

L&L Europe Ltd is the top choice for players and affiliates! We have 13 uniquely-themed casinos that run on a state-of-the-art platform. Our loyal players love our high-quality games, smooth gameplay, innovative features and plentiful promotions. Also our affiliates love our deals! Let’s strike one today – come join the fun!

Santosh Jain CEO www.mediacle.com

Mediacle is a one-stop destination for all the services required in the iGaming ecosystem. We support the entire value chain for the gaming industry and empower our partners to build their brands. Our bouquet of services include MAP™ iGaming Affiliate Software, Digital Marketing Services, Traffic & Lead Generation, Web Designing & Development, Graphic Designing, Game Development and much more!

Paul Kavanagh CEO www.mifinity.com

MiFinity, a global payments provider, was set up over 15 years ago with the aim of offering a range of cost effective and efficient end-toend payment solutions. MiFinity are a fully regulated company with the sole objective to be the market leader in the online payments space. We partner with specific providers that support us on this growth journey.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Steven Matsell CEO www.leandergames.com

LeanderGames is an independent company that aims to deliver innovative video slots content to the gaming market. The company is accredited and licensed by the UKGC and has offices in Argentina and Malta. Leander’s LeGa platform also aggregates best of breed content from third-party game studios to provide the best offering for its operators.

Petra Blixt Head of Sales www.leovegasaffiliates.com

LeoVegas was awarded IGB best Casino Affiliate Program for 2018 & GGA Award for Best Digital Acquisition Program for 2017. LeoVegas is the innovation leader in gaming entertainment. LeoVegas Sport is the most intuitive, engaging and fastest way to bet on sports. LeoVegas’ multi-award winning casino currently offers the world’s strongest suite of casino games with 1400+ games on desktop, mobile and tablet. This in combination with top-notch live casino entertainment in HD quality 24/7. Join LeoVegas’ award-winning affiliate program.

Joe Cutajar Managing Director www.mib.com.mt

MIB is Malta’s largest insurance broker and risk management services firm - a local pioneer in this sector, with over 30 years of proven track record. MIB is the independent broking arm of the MIB Insurance Group. MIB corresponds with various leading global insurance broking and risk consultancy groups bringing MIB’s clients directly in touch with a wealth of specialist resources and knowledge.

Matteo Dimatteo CEO, Owner & Director www.mondogaming.eu

Mondogaming, a software solution for B2B and B2C services, and a real innovative sportbook platform, is one of the best possible solutions available on the worldwide market. Thanks to this we can proudly offer all our customers a really competitive product.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Clemence Dujardin General Manager www.myaffiliates.com

MyAffiliates provides a cutting-edge affiliate management platform. MyAffiliates platform gives operators the confidence that their affiliate program is going to meet the growing demands of the industry. With powerful reporting modules, real-time click tracking and detailed statistics available, affiliates love to work with programs powered by MyAffiliates.

www.mynanovo.com

Our company is the leader in manufacturing of metal sports betting terminals, electronics, and cabinets for gaming machines in Europe. We can design and manufacture any kind and complexity of metal cabinet at the request of costumers. The advantages of our products are the best quality and design at low prices and minimal terms of manufacturing.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Athena Tam Senior Executive www.n2-live.com

n2-LIVE, the leader in Live Dealer Solutions is based in Manila and has been in existence for 10+ years. The suite of games includes Baccarat, Sicbo, Roulette and Blackjack for web and mobile devices, live dealer and RNG formats. n2-LIVE is delivering on its promises and providing a state-of-the-art gaming platform that is at the heart of their partners’ profitability.

Assaf Rosenblum Affiliate Team Leader www.netopartners.com

NetoPartners is the #1 affiliate program for online scratch & slot games. We’re the proud advertiser of 5 in-house brands, ranging over +150 exclusive games. With 10 years of expertise, we’re providing our affiliates with intuitive marketing materials, high-paying CPL/CPA/Hybrid deals and millions of euros in revenue each month.

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Justin Pace General Manager www.ofici.com.mt

OFICI is an established company simplifying office supplies and targeted to offices and businesses of all sizes. Products range from office furniture to stationery for break/staff room products. Having the right balance of product portfolio at the right prices, the company holds appropriate stock levels, thus guaranteeing timeefficiency and value for money in client procurement.

Matevž Mazij CEO www.oryxgaming.com

ORYX Gaming is a leading B2B gaming solution provider. ORYX’s turnkey solution consists of an omni-channel retail, online and mobile iGaming platform, sportsbook, lottery and content aggregation solutions with casino, slots, live dealers, lottery, virtual sports and instant win game content, consisting of over 8,000 games from top tier gaming content providers. ORYX is a member of Bragg Gaming Group.

Matty Rochman Head of OneTouch www.onetouch.io

OneTouch creates premium table and slot games for online casinos worldwide by combining innovative mobile-first designs with sharp single-touch interactivity to deliver a superior online gambling experience on both desktop and handheld devices. Our games support ambidextrous play on all modern mobile devices and desktop browsers and are fully responsive to any screen size.

Anthony Hennessy Head of Malta www.pentasia.com

Pentasia is the award-winning global leader in iGaming staffing solutions. We have been dominant in the market since 2001 and have placed over 7,500 candidates across 6 continents. Our recruiters are industry experts - our reputation for transparency and professionalism attracts the best. With offices in 5 countries, our unique international footprint enables us to match high-quality candidates with world-class companies wherever they conduct business.

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

Johan Tornqvist Group CEO www.playngo.com

Play’n GO are an award-winning supplier of online gaming software and platforms for some of the world’s largest online and land-based casino operators. Play’n GO’s passion for innovation began with their pioneering foray into the world of mobile online gaming. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength, creating unique and entertaining online games, whilst also providing one of the most modern and flexible multi-channel platform solutions in the industry. Play’n GO are a rapidly growing force in the world of online gaming.

Ivan Farrugia Managing Director www.playson.com

Playson is an international games supplier with a portfolio of 60+ omni-channel games and an established presence in most regulated European markets. At the core of the company’s mission statement is a commitment to producing the highest quality products, driven by continuous innovation and complemented with first rate support services.

Yossi Barzely Chief Business Development Officer www.pragmaticplay.com

Pragmatic Play is a leading content provider for the iGaming industry, offering a multi-product portfolio of innovative, regulated and mobilefocused gaming products. Our passion for premium entertainment is unrivalled. We strive to create the most engaging and evocative experience for all our customers, across a range of products: Slots, Live Casino, Bingo and more via one single API. 

Julian Borg-Barthet Director of Business Development www.risq.uk

RISQ is the leading iGaming insurance platform iGiPTM, helping the gaming industry create new levels in player acquisition and retention via scalable jackpots of up to £150m. These solutions enable operators and platform providers to run games and promotions boosted by jackpots that deliver high payouts. RISQ backed jackpot prizes can be used within a F2P and P2P scenario, with the goal of boosting player engagement and cross-sell.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

new.playattack.com

PlayAttack Affiliate Program is a unique platform that gives you the highest profit. You can focus on your traffic and we will do the rest. We offer up to 55% revenue share for life. Our affiliates receive revenue from their clients’ activity spanning their entire lifetime on the platform. If you know how to use traffic and are an expert in it, you can take advantage of our CPA plan.

Katja Nordstrand Affiliate Manager www.poshfriends.com

PoshFriends is a HQ affiliate program working with trendy projects Casino-X, Joycasino and Pokerdom. They demonstrate great retention results and the maximum LTV due to motivating benefits, fast and powerful platform, instant payouts and a professional maintenance of high-rollers. Top geos include the Nordics, CIS countries, Japan, Eastern Europe.

James Marshall CEO & Founder www.pushgaming.com

Push Gaming is a games development studio that specialises in creating premium, mobile-optimised HTML5 games. With a key focus on providing the best user experience and player entertainment, all games are designed with the player in mind. The company continuously emphasises the need to push the boundaries, to keep innovating, and to providing the best game play possible.

Andrew Cochrane Chief Development Officer www.sbtech.com

SBTech is a global leader in omni-channel sports betting and gaming, with more than 1,100 employees in nine offices worldwide. Since 2007, the group has developed the industry’s most powerful online sports betting and casino platform, serving licensees in more than 20 regulated markets.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Jerry Land VP B@B www.SkillOnNet.com

SkillOnNet provides white label casino and full turnkey services to top brands worldwide, with an incredible selection of over 3,000 third party games from the biggest casino software providers in the world. Join the Success!

Ivan Montik CEO www.softswiss.com

SoftSwiss is a widely acclaimed iGaming software provider. We offer an ultra-powerful online casino platform and a game aggregator. We also develop modern, sharp-looking casino games (marketed as “BGaming”). Last but not least, we provide a reliable and technologically advanced cryptocurrency processing solution (marketed as “CoinsPaid”).

Jason Prasad Head of Affiliates www.starsaffiliateclub.com

Stars Affiliate Club supports The Stars Group’s flagship poker brand, PokerStars, as well as BetStars, PokerStars Casino, and Sky Bet by Stars in Italy. Stars Affiliate Club is managed by a group of seasoned specialists, together they draw upon their experience and use some of the industry’s most sophisticated tools to bring value and growth to any type of affiliate.

Mateusz Juroszek CEO www​.sts​.pl

STS was established in 1997 and it is a leading bookmaker in Poland, with a market share of 47%. Since February 2019, STS has been expanding internationally, starting with European markets: the UK, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Andorra, San Marino, as well as Gibraltar, Malta and Latvia. STS offers sportsbook, casino, eSports and many more products.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Artyom Ustinov Head of White Label & Turnkey Solutions www.softgamings.com

SoftGamings is a leading iGaming developer since 2008, offering clients turnkey and white label casino solutions, all top game providers under a single integration, licensing and banking solutions and more.

Darren Stepsky Sales Director www.stannp.com

Stannp.com helps you stay in contact with your customers and prospects. Our easy to use web-based platform allows you to upload data, images, and bespoke messages allowing us to print and post your personalised postcards and letters, for less than the cost of a second-class stamp. Stannp.com – we keep you posted!

Giorgio Sammut General Manager www.strandelectronics.com

Strand Electronics Ltd is the local distributors of Kyocera products and authorised after-sales providers with over 30 years of experience. They offer end-to-end solutions, from multifunction devices and printers to software solutions, all of which can all be customised to individual client requirements. The company is also a significant player in the PV solar panel market, and has ventured into LED Billboards & LCD Display.

Ivan Kodaj CEO www.synotgames.com

SYNOT Games has been established in 2016 as a content division of SYNOT - an internationally recognised gambling brand. We develop cutting-edge slot games for desktop, tablet, mobile, as well as terminal. Licensed and certified in a number of regulated markets, all games are created in pure HTML5 technology and support multiple resolutions and languages.

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Atlas Healthcare: high quality health and dental insurance for the IT and gaming industry

People you can trust

Atlas Healthcare - market leader in the local group health sector: ƒ ƒ ƒ

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Tailor made plans for large corporate groups The only dental insurance range in Malta Unique high quality extensions including preventive care, personal case management, cover for vaccinations and certain chronic conditions Unique 24/7 emergency health insurance service

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Online preauthorisation service The only local online group secretary portal Access to the international AXA network of hospitals and other unique AXA 24/7 services

ƒƒ From 2019: Introducing AXA ICAS worldwide EAP services

We can help your employees give their best! Insured by:

Reinsured by:

Contact us on 21 322 600 or visit atlas.com.mt Atlas Healthcare Insurance Agency Limited (C32603) is authorised under the Insurance Distribution Act to act as Enrolled Insurance Agent for Atlas Insurance PCC Limited (C5601) (AIPL). AIPL is a cell company authorised under the Insurance Business Act 1998 to carry on general insurance business. The non-cellular assets of the company may be used to meet losses incurred by the cells in excess of their assets. Both entities are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Gordon Cachia Chief Commercial Officer www.thequad.com.mt

Located in the centre of Malta and targeting LEED Platinum certification, The Quad Business Towers is set to deliver over 44,000m² of commercial floor space, including a mix of Grade A office space, a range of retail and amenity outlets, ample parking facilities and spacious landscaped outdoor areas and piazzas. Developed by the Tumas and Gasan Groups and designed by leading architectural firm DeMicoli & Associates.

Sam Barrett Director of Gaming www.trustly.com

Trustly is a Swedish FinTech company that makes online banking payments fast, simple, and secure. We offer instant deposits and withdrawals to players across 29 European countries and our latest product, Pay N Play®, streamlines the sign-up step so players can start playing games instantly while ensuring operators stay compliant.

Marcin Jablonski Chief Brand Officer www.twin.com

Twin.com is the hottest online casino focusing on customer experience and innovation via a stunning website packed with functionality and features. It is already widely acclaimed, like its award-winning Twin Affiliates Program which took home the Best Newcomer affiliate program 2017.

Tatiana Miller Business Account Manager www.upaycard.com

UPayCard is a provider of worldwide online payment solutions for businesses and individuals. Being authorised and regulated by FCA, UPayCard provides its customers with a revolutionary solution which includes various services under one account: e-wallet, prepaid cards, crypto wallets, B2B wires etc. tailored for each type of business model.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Jan Lunde CEO & Commercial Director www.thunderkick.com

Thunderkick is a proud independent casino game supplier, with offices in Stockholm and Malta, best known for the blockbusters Pink Elephants, Carnival Queen, Explosivo Esqueleto and Fruit Warp. Offering a wide games portfolio of 32 HTML5 slot games that are live on most regulated markets and leading casino operators in the world.

Yaroslava Isaienko Head of Sales www.tvbet.tv

TV BET is an online company which is carrying out live lottery games with broadcasting on the internet and other platforms with the possibility of accepting bets and other entertainment purposes. Our games are not simulated or recorded in advance. It’s all live, with absolutely random results, available for you 24/7/365 all over the world. Our charming hosts and realistic scenery will leave you speechless. We do our best for you to mix business with pleasure!

Mario Ovcharov CEO www.ultraplay.co

UltraPlay is a modern technological company, founded in 2010. Its core ambition is to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry by providing advanced betting solutions focused on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white label, online casino and blockchain technology.

Colin Jones Director www.vallettapay.com

VallettaPay is a fully-fledged global payments solution for online merchants. Our main products are Online Banking Multicurency IBAN) and Card Processing. VallettaPay refers to a group of companies with licences to operate as Authorised Electronic Money Institution.

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IN-DEPTH REPORTING LEADING BRANDS SICK PAY SCHEME FLEXIBLE REWARD PLANS

affiliates.globalgaming.com


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Ali Atam CMO www.videoslots.com

Chris Gauci CEO www.vivendo.com.mt

Videoslots came to life in 2011 and has quickly established itself as the player’s choice casino, that has been built from the roots up around the concept of innovation, differentiation and highend customer service. We are now the fastest growing online casino offering our players over 3,434 games spanning over 103 different providers.

Vivendo Group is the parent company of 6 divisions offering a wide range of furnishing solutions with a fully-integrated service. Through our retail outlets we cater to the end consumer with home furniture. Our B2B division serves businesses operating in the commercial, hospitality and fitness industry.

Warren Russell CEO www.w2globaldata.com

With Responsible Gambling being the ‘hot-topic’ in our industry, the award-winning W2 Global continues to innovate in the area of Income Verification, Affordability & Source of Funds checks; all now considered ‘must-haves’ as operators continue to raise their standards in making gambling fairer & safer for all.

James Scicluna Co-Managing Partner www.whpartners.eu

WH Partners is a leading Malta-based business law firm specialising in the following sectors: gaming and gambling, financial and investment services, Fin-Tech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and taxation. Both the firm and the lawyers are highly ranked by the foremost legal directories, including Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal and the International Financial Law Review.

Suren Azatyan Head of Sales and Marketing www.xcaliber.com

We’re a tight-knit team of specialists that have taken the online gaming world by storm. A very quiet storm. We’re pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible and carving out a new path to business excellence. And we’re doing this because we never do the same thing twice.

Andrzej Hyla Head of Sales www.wazdan.com

Wazdan is a top online casino games supplier having over 110 games in portfolio. Our passion for games allows us to develop top quality games packed with Unique Wazdan Features to deliver an absolutely unique experience for the players. We hold licences for UKGC, MGA, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, and Curacao.

Jessica Hewitt Affiliate Director www.wpnaffiliates.com

Since 2001, the Winning Poker Network has been one of the most trusted and reputable brands in the online poker industry. Known for their constant innovation, they are the only online poker network to run weekly progressive points races for both cash game and sit and go players. They also accept Bitcoin and 60 other cryptocurrencies, plus run multiple tournament series guaranteeing millions of dollars throughout the year.

Rhi Burns Chief Commercial Officer www.zimpler.com

Zimpler is a Swedish fintech company founded in 2012. The goal has always been to simplify mobile payments and to be a really nice company. Zimpler’s main product is ZimplerGO, an instant account solution that covers card, bank and bill payments. Zimpler has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and now in sunny Malta.

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MEDIA PARTNERS www.aseangaming.com

The ASEAN Gaming Summit will draw together the region’s leading operators, regulators and suppliers, who are successfully developing the next generation of gaming offerings, both terrestrial and online.

www.calvinayre.com

CalvinAyre.com is the Internet’s number one gambling news site created by industry pioneer and the founder of the Bodog Brand, Calvin Ayre. It offers breaking news, a complete gambling industry directory, gambling conference and event highlights, as well as expert opinions discussing hot topics in the global gambling industry. CalvinAyre.com is where professionals working in the gambling industry around the world can be updated 24/7 on the latest news…gambling news with an edge.

www.casino-review.co

The go-to publication if you’re on the search for what’s happening in the international casino industry. No longer ‘just’ widely recognised as the biggest and best b2b casino periodical in the world, Casino Review also provides up-to-date reporting and recommendations through our website and social media.

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www.bigafricasummit.com

Prepare for the biggest gaming industry gathering of the year as we bring back some of our show’s most knowledgeable and respected stakeholders for the BiG Africa Supershow 2020! The programme has been designed to give all African stakeholders the skills to remain competitively strong in 2020

www.casinocitytimes.com

Casino City is an independent directory and information service free of any gaming operator’s control. Get the hottest tips and Playing Strategy on your favorite games with thousands of articles from over 50 top gambling authors and experts! Read the latest Gaming News and Subscribe to the Casino City Times Weekly Edition for regular updates and specials!

www.eventus-international.com

Eventus International is a highly professional, independent and global event producing company that specialises in gaming conferences and exhibitions. Based in Hong Kong and South Africa, we pride ourselves on being connected to the best software and technology companies, owners and operators, gaming and platform providers, payment solution providers, regulators, attorneys in the gaming sector.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

www.focusgn.com

Focus Gaming News is a daily digital newspaper dedicated to the international gaming executives. This communication tool brings daily all main up-to-date news from the gaming and iGaming business through its newsletter, received by more than 15,000 subscribers around the world. Latest news, regulation, legislation, casino news, sports betting, online gaming, latest products and trends, interviews to key specialists and more find their place at Focus Gaming News.

www.gamblerspost.com

Gambler’s Post is a dedicated news and networking portal in the online gaming industry which features news, reviews, opinions, interviews, contacts and much more. We help operators get in touch with affiliates and inform our users about the latest news of the gambling world.

www.gamblingpost.com

GamblingPost.com is a brand new community and your one-stop destination for all online gambling news, discussion of affiliate marketing strategies and success stories, events, and source number one for industry movers’ exclusive interviews. Share your point, find best deals among numerous online gaming affiliate programs or get advice from experts in affiliate business.

www.gamblingcompliance.com

GamblingCompliance is the leading provider of independent business intelligence to the global gambling industry. We help industry professionals, advisors and investors reduce their regulatory risk exposure by specialising in legal, regulatory, political and market information; eLearning; and bespoke research; to understand what regulatory change today means for business opportunities tomorrow.

Media Partners | SiGMA

www.g3newswire.com

G3 is a worldwide high quality monthly magazine for the games and gaming operator. It sources gaming related news, information and market statistics from around the world and delivers them direct to you each month. Every issue features the latest games, in-depth country reports and especially focuses on technology, innovation and creativity in the sphere of games and gaming.

www.gamblinginsider.com

Gambling Insider is the must-read publication for the entire global gaming industry, covering the key issues affecting the online and land-based sectors in each region. Our experienced inhouse journalists and regular leading freelancers work tirelessly to produce a title that entertains as well as informs the world’s leading operators, suppliers, affiliates, legal experts and regulators, providing agenda-setting news, in-depth analysis and crucial data.

www.gambling.com

Gambling.com Group Plc is a multi-award winning provider of digital marketing services for the global iGaming industry. The group publishes websites that offer comparisons and reviews of online gambling websites in 14 national markets in 8 languages. The group’s publishing assets include the leading iGaming industry portal, Gambling.com as well as Bookies.com and the CasinoSource series of portals, among many others.

www.gamingintelligence.com

Gaming Intelligence is the leading source of news and analysis for the global interactive gaming industry. Its daily email newsletter, website and sister publication GIQ Magazine are an invaluable tool for key decision makers within gaming operators, national regulators, the legal and financial communities and the wider media.

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SiGMA | Media Partners

www.iGamingBusiness.com

iGaming Business has been the leading specialist iGaming publisher and information provider to the iGaming sector through magazines, events, websites and intelligence for over 15 years. With over 16,000 operators, vendors and affiliates regularly reading their information off-line and 100,000 online, iGaming Business is leading publisher in the sector.

www.iGamingCalendar.com

iGamingCalendar.com is the first fully comprehensive Worldwide Calendar Directory listing of Trade Shows, Conferences, Seminars and Social events in the iGaming and Terrestrial Gambling industry. The website and app allow users to view ALL events by date, or to view events by sub-categories including Affiliate, iGaming, Landbased, Lottery, Social Media, Mobile, Networking, Awards, Tribal and Sportsbetting events.

www.imoneyslots.com

iMoneyslots is the place where an enthusiastic player can find all for thrilling and exciting gambling: real online slots and its detailed reviews, different kinds of casino games for real money, description of rules and strategies. The pages contain the important and secure information about all up-to-date online money casinos and its objective ratings. Our team attentively gathers and selects information about latest casino bonuses, no deposit bonuses, and other exciting promotions.

www.intergameonline.com

Packed with the latest news and analysis, iNTERGAMINGi is the definitive magazine for the i-gaming sector. Published in print and digital format, it has an international circulation of 10,000+ copies. Each issue is full of industry news, analytical features, interviews with industry leaders and trade show reviews. It regularly includes regulatory and legal supplements.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

www.igamingtimes.com

iGaming Times - the monthly publication that provides businesses updates on what’s happening in igaming and betting. With the latest news being uploaded to our website and social media, we keep you in the loop of what’s what and who’s who in industries relevant to you.

www.igbaffiliate.com

iGB Affiliate is the biggest provider of information, insight and analysis for the iGaming affiliate market. The affiliate facing brand of iGaming Business, iGBAffiliate specialises in providing high quality information to everyone working within the online gambling affiliate industry, whether through our events, publications or online content.

www.igcouncil.org

The Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) is a non-profit trade association that serves as a collective voice for the interactive gaming industry. The IGC champions initiatives that address the multi-various challenges and opportunities facing the Internet gambling industry, in order to ensure an environment of fair and responsible gambling.

www.kingcasinobonus.co.uk

KingCasinoBonus is a website where all players in the United Kingdom, both new and experiences, are given access to great promotions from various brands, both famous and reliable, from the online gambling industry. We offer casino reviews, relevant information on their deals and much more. Here, gambling enthusiasts can pick from a wide variety of bonuses.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

www.lovinmalta.com

Lovin Malta was launched in April 2016 as a news and lifestyle portal and has since grown to become one of Malta’s most popular websites. The company specialises in useful and entertaining content, ranging from comedy to hard news, social commentary and tips on how best to discover Malta. the website attracts almost 500,000 unique users per month and has more than 100,000 followers on Facebook.

www.mobilecasinoman.com

Mobile Casino Man is part of a new breed of casino affiliate sites that is mobile first. It has fantastic, honest reviews of all the best mobile casinos as well as the best mobile casino games.

www.norskcasinoguide.com

Norsk Casinoguide is a Norwegian portal for gaming enthusiasts with hundreds of online casino reviews, news, bonus codes and much more. The site has been online since 2003 and still helps players to find updated information from the casino world and the best places to play.

www.offshore-pro.com

Offshore Pro Group helps successful entrepreneurs and individuals to achieve effective, safe, confidential, affordable and compliant international company structures. We are a worldwide group of professional corporate service providers, focused on provision of these private banking and wealth management services over the internet through a combined marketing channel.

Media Partners | SiGMA

www.lyceummedia.com

Lyceum Media is a niche PR firm specialising in providing public relations and special events services to the igaming industry – online casino and poker operators and software developers. The company was founded reactively to exploit the experience and abilities of its founders and to consolidate their considerable experience in journalism, casino marketing and PR into one entity.

www.nettikasinot.com

Nettikasinot.com, a leading Finnish casino website, provides you with reviews of online casinos, bonuses and promotions, interactive top-lists, and comparison tools, comprehensive presentations of games, payment methods and game manufacturers and wellresearched news and articles about online casino sector.

www.novacorpnet.com

NovaCorp Net is an iGaming affiliate operator dedicated to delivering top performance in online marketing campaigns using a mix of innovating approaches and technologies. With statistical data at heart, NovaCorp Net also meets igaming affiliates with free data widgets for website implementation.

www.onlinecasinoreports.com

Online Casino Reports in an online site that provides a comprehensive, easy to navigate and free sharing application for the iGaming community. We are a website for the gambling community, by the gambling community, and about the gambling community.

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SiGMA | Media Partners

www.onlinecasinoguia.com

OnlineCasinoGuia seeks to provide all the necessary information to know all about the main Online casinos in various Spanish countries, as well as to keep informed of new games and promotions. They have the best bonuses and gifts that Online Casinos have to offer, so you do not miss anything.

www.pokernews.com

Launched in 2002 PokerNews.com publishes fresh content daily from operations in 30 countries, making it the leading and most trusted source of content in the gambling industry. At the iGB awards, PokerNews.com has won “Best Poker Affiliate” for four consecutive years, demonstrating the level of trust in which PokerNews, and iBus Media Group is held by the industry.

www.professionalrakeback.com

Professional Rakeback is a website dedicated to providing poker players with up to date and factual information about online poker laws, covering news stories, as well as analyzing rewards and rakeback programs in order to find the best deals. It is managed by expert professional players with decades of experience.

www.rarib.ru

Russian Association for Gaming Business Development (RARIB) is the non-profit organisation established in October 2000. The main objective of RARIB is to promote the development of the civilised gaming business in Russia and to make it the significant branch of the domestic economy. RARIB contributes to the formation of the stable legal environment in order to carry out activity and to ensure security in the field of gaming business.

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ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

www.phil-asiangamingexpo.com

Phil-Asian Gaming Expo (PAGE), is dedicated to building a trustworthy, fair and transparent platform, PAGE is a comprehensive event including trade show, conference, launching and awards. Phil-Asian Gaming Expo is the first gaming industry trade show supported by PAGCOR - the event will take place at Smx Convention Center Manila in 2019.

www.pressgiochi.it

PressGiochi.it is a digital daily newspaper dedicated to the Italian gambling industry. All the elements of the industry are inside: Newslot, Vlt, casinos, poker, betting, bingo, lotteries, on- or off-line with editorial content, articles and interviews. In PressGiochi.it you can find information about companies, international and national events.

www.race-expo.ru/en

RACE is a recognized meeting point for affiliate programs owners and partners, advertisers and representatives of advertising platforms, participants of online marketing and experts in the field of e-commerce.

www.ratingbet.net

RatingBet.net is a bookmaker resource which provides only up to date information about the bookmakers market. The advantages of using this betting platform are obvious. It’s betting right from the website, a convenient structured ranking of bookmakers, reliable and convenient possibility of withdrawal of money, and all the necessary information about the sports events and bookmakers world.


ISSUE 9 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

www.sbcnews.co.uk

Sports Betting Community (SBC) is dedicated to raising the profile and coverage of gambling operators, software suppliers and industry start-ups in the complex and saturated online gaming market. SBC offers its clients and partners a wide range of services including content provision, iGaming consulting, gaming event management, public relations, communications and branding.

www.timesofmalta.com

Allied Newspapers Limited is Malta’s largest media organisation. With over 80 years of heritage, our mission was, is, and will continue to be the dissemination of credible content that enriches people’s lives by informing, educating and entertaining them. We do this through Malta’s undisputed leading platforms: the Times of Malta, The Sunday Times of Malta and timesofmalta.com.

www.ukspins.com

UKSpins is concentrating with the most important thing, spins. It is all about slots and free spins at UKspins.com. Here visitors can find all the latest promotions like free spins offers and no deposit offers. We have made extensive quality assurance on all the casinos we list. UKSpins believe in more fun to the player and less hassle.

www.visibilitymagazine.com

Visibility Magazine, founded in 2007, has become the guide to latest trends in internet marketing. Visibility conducts interviews with CEOs, shares opinions, reviews products, and provides a wealth of information about the movements in the industry. Additionally, Visibility will reach many fringe businesses that may have been contemplating entering or expanding their Internet marketing campaigns. Visibility is published quarterly and covers a wide range of topics.

Media Partners | SiGMA

www.sportsbettingevents.com/spice-india

Sports Betting & Gaming India: 26-28 February 2020 Goa, India. Strategic Platform for iGaming Conference and Exhibition (SPiCE) has an agenda designed to illuminate the status quo, and consider the case for legalisation and regulation, commercial opportunities, responsible gambling and consumer protection. This event will continue the discussions and debates surrounding gambling in India.

www.topmarketgroup.com

TopMarketGroup is a complete guide for crypto analysing, blockchain events , trading, and investments. For ICOs , HYIP’s, Live Market Track, this platform is the complete solution.

www.vegasmaster.com

VegasMaster is an intelligent online gambling magazine and resource. Since its inception, VegasMaster.com has quickly evolved into one of the industry’s most reliable and trusted sources for online gambling news, reviews, and the most important industry-related facts and information. The comprehensive online magazine is multilingual and was created by industry experts with players in mind.

www.worldcasinodirectory.com

WorldCasinoDirectory, well established in the iGaming industry, builds an empire for players seeking online and world land-based casinos. Reviews are praised for honest interpretation with graphics that are beautifully illustrated. Drawing an international audience for diversity across all sectors of gaming.

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MEDICAL

B LO C KC H A I N I N VE STO R S MEET MEDICAL CANNABIS Join over 2,000 delegates at the inaugural Medical Cannabiz World to discuss legislation, education, investment and technology in this exciting business sector. Showcase your products at the expo and network with top global industry professionals. Investors, medical researchers, entrepreneurs and policy makers are recognising the world-changing potential of cannabis for medical use. The Production of Medical Cannabis Act 2018 was a big step for the future of the industry in Europe.

M A LTA WE E K

MEDICAL 7-8 NOV

www.cannabizsummit.world


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